From Fazli Sameer
Human beings, across the globe, have a great tendency to immerse themselves in stereotyping others, based on preconceived thoughts and ideas that have been inculcated in their minds since birth. This, then, becomes the root of prejudice, discrimination, abuse, oppression, jealousy, and hatred.
Our species is one. We belong to the human race, as apart from insects, mammals, reptiles, etc. We possess specific characteristics and traits that are inherent in our “operating” system embedded within, and executing inside our hearts and minds. In reality, we are no different from an ordinary IBM lookalike Laptop or even a MacPro personal computer.
An operating system (OS) within any electronic gadget, be it a hand held mobile phone or a giant that fills up a whole floor space of he, is basically is a collection of software (coded instructions) that manages all the parts and actions of the entity in which it resides in. The OS is a vital component for all electronic systems to execute and could be considered as the “mind” that thinks and executes all the functions of the electronic device.
Similarly, the human mind (some folks may opt to give this responsibility to the heart, but I dont) does contain its own built in OS that comes into play once the foetus starts developing inside the mothers womb. Medics, Educationists, and Psychologists, may have differing opinions and views on the actual moment when the little worm inside Mummy starts to think and act for itself. However, the fact remains that at some point of time in the life cycle of a human being, be it in the womb or after birth, this OS has to trigger to initiate any possible response from the child. Some, may claim that the first cry that the baby delivers immediately after birth is the beginning of the functioning of the OS. Other may say that the OS already started functioning inside the womb when the baby starts kicking around in its watery world. There are those (my wife, who has a proud 50+ year career in child psychology and the Montessori method of teaching, included) who are of the view that the OS actually kicks off from the moment of conception.
An OS functions based on specific written rules that make it do what it does. A secretary may create a memo using Microsoft Word and send it to the printer for a hard copy. The whole process from beginning to end is managed behind the scenes by the OS while the actual application (Microsoft Word in this case) carries on the task of providing the functionality of document creation, modification, formatting, editing, etc and also printing that is specific to its activity. Hence we could comfortably deduce that the OS is more like an efficient resource manager who sits at the back and makes sure that all of the resources available within a device, human or machine, are utilized effectively to derive the functionality of whatever application the device attempts to execute. That’s the simplest form of explanation I can conjure up at 65+ and around 43 years of swimming in the deep end of the IT pool.
While this fabulous OS does its thing, behind the scenes, all of the applications that it supports to execute will also need to receive, analyze, decide upon and deliver, using acquired data or information from an external source. In technology jargon we refer to this as INPUT – PROCESSING – OUTPUT, and many of you would have also heard of the famous cliche that is stated over and over again by techies and even non techies, “Garbage in, Garbage out”?
What this entails is that you may buy the worlds most powerful processor and run the best possible application on it but if you feed it with rubbish then all you will get back is more rubbish.
Now this boils down to the simple and common sense fact that all these fancy tech and human devices are useless if you do not provide them with sensible data (or information).
That brings us back to the point of how we teach and raise human beings from conception to death. This whole process of this education, from the very first time Mr Sperm knocks on Ms Egg’s door, inside Mummy’s womb, and says “Excuse me Miss, may I please come in and conceive?”, is the data (information) input that we choose to give and receive to/from our species, be it our own kids, our neighbors kids, or even our students, colleagues, peers, and even religious leaders, and mentors.
So, when a person chooses to make a statement like, “All you bloody Asians are wicked and cruel people”, it must stem from the information that has already been input into the Application (just like MSWord) within that person’s OS that enables him to output such a rhetoric so loud and openly without batting an eyelid. Similarly, when GWB Junior, during his infamous reign in America, chose to say, “They hate our freedoms, either you are with us or with them”, referring to the 2 billion Muslims on this planet, he did so based on whatever data (information) that was already fed into his Application. WMD’s that were never there tells the same story, again for GWB, Tony Blair and the rest of the Mohiccans, who chose to go to war for no damn reason at all, knowing it fully well, themselves.
Thus, it is nothing unusual to see human beings output such statements and follow up actions based on what has already been input into their Applications and the poor OS has no choice but to deliver, whether it likes it or not.
In all my deliberations, thought processes, analysis, and meditation, in my 65+ years on this planet, I have in recent years started to question this OS and the way it manages the delivery of the data that has been input into all the Applications inside me since conception. It is only by this reasoning process, using basic common sense as the guiding factor, (which also stems from my own OS but was never nurtured before to do the same by me), that I have been able to come out of the box and even kick the bloody box it oblivion.
Each of us, in my view, has this ability to do this for our own selves without even having to worry about what another achieved or did not achieve from it. Its got to be entirely a personal exercise that one executes for himself/herself and makes an analogical deduction using basic common sense, logic, reasoning, and humanity.
This does not mean that one has to abandon everything that one adheres to, on the ground today, and give up the present way of life to some new form of religion, culture, lifestyle, or even non belief. Its a matter of making common sense with oneself which, in my view, is like taking candy from a baby.
So, as a punch line to this story for this last day in February, all I can say is that we need to re look inside our data storage and try and clean up the garbage that went in before we can stop ourselves from delivering this garbage out, to the detriment of our own selves and the rest of the world.
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