Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lunch with Charlie Rose

The company I work for got recently bought over, and we had a big lay-off and the mood within the employees is at an all time low. Sorrow has descended on the floor and its silence all around most of the time. But on an individual basis I see people interacting more among themselves, sharing their thoughts more openly that before. The primary point of discussion is the everyone's problem of being on the list next time. The theme unites every one. This triggers more open discussions. It was as though the personal opinions have come out of the closet and more open comments on relevant topics without the class tier among employees. One thing I realized was unlike popular belief that people group/pool together better at happier times it the sad times that bring them more closer. Someone more famously told - the precious part of the human body is the shoulders. There would once be a time someone needs it to rest their head on amidst profound sadness out of uncertainty.

Re-enforces the most common political wisdom - we need common sorrows to unite people.

Everyone has the same concerns and they see themselves in others. This motivates more conversation/discussion and opinion sharing. It is a good sign but unfortunately wrong cause. May be that is why tight deadlines build successful teams.

Let us come to Charlie Ross story now - Recently I had lunch with my office co-workers. The discussion was about all topics. The crowd was of "opposite" nature to the way I think (I am the sick one). Things like fashion, dancing, partying were discussed. As always I was a patient listener with some occasional comments - sarcastic most of the time. At one point - someone told usually young crowd (this time girls) do not want to know someone who watches Charlie Rose's interview. This made me think.

For someone who do not know who Charlie Rose is - he is a relatively serious political commentator who conducts interviews with newsmakers. The interview is always with someone across a small table in a dark room to create a illusion of serious talk. It is just series of question - most of them relevant. Candid discussion. Most of his interviews are serious - he isn't talking to the guy who raises Panda somewhere or they guy who split up with some so called celebrity. He asks some tough questions (relatively to other main stream American media).

Watching serious political commentary cannot be a bad thing. Why has the younger generation lost interest in it ? Communist regimes were very careful in motivating ideology among the young people. But Capitalistic societies is losing out to trivial areas of interest. May be if there was something like world war or something going on - people would be more keen to the stories that come up on politics.
Politics and current affairs are part of life for everyone. Lack of interest on those is deeply worrying. Particularly among younger generation who are more tech savvy and live in their own virtual world. It is not that they are not important but they are less important. critical thinking is vital for people who are young. To do it., you need to understand people and their problems. Human race has come a long way from hunting and gathering. Those must be primitive. Now we have a modern world.

The majority of population has moved away from politics particularly in the western world and is spending more time in the virtual world like websites, fashion, vacationing, leisure. The younger generation is completely insulated from world problems/issues and an environment has been created that it is someone else problem. It is as though an international calamity - like a world war or a huge economic crisis is probably needed to unite the human mass. (just a comment)

Current affairs is not a boring topic that you can choose to follow or ignore. You follow it because it affects your life directly. Your decisions, life style depend on it. In the west, information that people get is heavily masked to create a sense of "everything is great and it can only get better".  

In the pre-world war two era there was a famous quote when Hitler was in power in Nazi Germany which is worth a mention here. The quote goes something like this.. First they came after the Jews. I did not worry because I was not a Jew. Then they came after the communist. I did not worry because I was not a communist. Then they came after the trade unionist. I did not worry because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came after ME. There was no one to help me.

Life is a mix of happiness and sadness. It is a mix that makes life interesting. It looks without the sadness in it., we will never be happy.

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