Sneha Chakraborty 19 Jan, 2019 07:03 72542 0

In the Liberal Revolution, It Pays Off To Sweat The Small Stuff

The liberal due-diligence matters. 

Divulged in the coming-of-age shows with a glass of wine, aren’t we all too glad to be the liberal?

In a room full of unpretentious upper-middle-class people, neither predictably rich nor too-proud to admit bankruptcy, we fit right in it happy as a clam. Just a little suppressing of the regional dialect, showing off the newest addition to the jewellery box and even the classic move of downplaying neighbours, which obviously always works. This all makes people like you and me completely likable. And just like that, we volunteer our souls to get dumped in the spam folder. A place where whatever comes doesn’t matter.

In 1976, Carlo M Cipolla, professor of economic history at the University of California, Berkeley quoted stupidity in an outline of his published essay. He called such people the “humanity’s greatest existential threat.”

The underlying link between the above Indian liberal showcase and growing genes of stupidity is lowballing sweat aka the huge effort absorbed by the tiniest things. Let’s understand this with a pretty-relatable example. 

You might have noticed these in the movies when the narrator skips a few months or year and jumps fast forward in time. There’s this scene where everything is happening super fast. It’s like observing life at x3 normal speed. The idea behind filming processes in high-speed or ‘time-lapse’ is to capture something that happens at a long stretch of time. No movie ever needs it but every movie, at one point or another surely wants it.

Why? Because it’s the most majestic that any film can own but the hardest to produce. 

To put it in simple words, why chase such expensive and labour-intensive detail when you can do without it too? The answer is simple. People don’t want to sweat the small stuff. This line also makes up half of the headline for this piece and also is the reason behind most of the half-assed decisions people take in this country. Let’s go back to the beginning to understanding when I said people like you and me impress people with fake attributions. What if instead of suppressing the regional dialect, we would have expanded our speaking skills and vocabulary by investing a couple of hours? What if we were sane enough to not pull out our jewels in front of outsiders just to show off? What if instead of talking-down others we had stories of our own that people would jump to listen? 

Now that’s a lot of what-ifs, eh? Clearly, people don’t want to or to be more specific, don’t choose to care for the details. In this era of online grammar checkers, we don’t bother reading the copy twice. I mean why learn to use photoshop if you can do it on Canva? Every day like this, we shrink more towards a world that’s vague inside. A generation that will aspire to go big but won’t be ready to conquer the small quests that tag along. They’ll want to become social media influencers but won’t be able to stop themselves from buying followers instead of earning them. 

But isn’t this why we became liberals in the first place? To question how and why things are done? To understand the deeper insights behind social and religious standing?

If you look up, “Liberal is a dirty word in India’s new lexicon,” is a headline published in the Economy Blogs of Times of India, one of the nation’s biggest. On the other hand, Asia Times asks whether Indian liberals are becoming hypocritically intolerant? So, it shouldn’t be biased if I conclude here that we are in fact using liberalism as a cover for taking shortcuts. 

Here, the context of Liberalism is not political. If your parents have agreed to let you choose a non-contemporary course, you’re a liberal, if you are a parent who doesn’t shy away from sharing some wine with your adult children, you’re a liberal and if you are talking about making waves, you are damn my warrior a liberal. 

But this idea only pays off when you are ready to sweat. Like putting in the extra work to learn about the religion you want to convert into or learning the strings to an acoustic before joining a rock band. The little efforts that nobody will ever praise you for. Without them, you fall under the majority of the population professor Carlo calls “stupid.”