My Manifesto

I was (and continue to be) greatly inspired by Siddharth Singh’s post on the things he has changed his mind about and his incomplete manifesto of his politics. As a way of articulating one’s (my) deeper engagement with the world, I cannot think of a better way than to document the dynamic nature of views.

Writing this is also a useful exercise in thinking about what beliefs I hold deeply, and dearly; there are very few, it would seem.

So here goes:

  • I used to believe in a god. Now I am an atheist.
  • I used to believe that it was alright for some people to not care about their larger world and focus on their families and their happiness. I don’t anymore.  I think it is the solemn duty of each one of us to care about making the world a better place.
  • I don’t actually think voting is enough. I don’t actually think anymore that mere voting is the sign of a true democracy. It annoys me when we celebrate elections. I want us to celebrate better …governance?
  • I think all kinds of hard work are not the same. People who are able to choose between working hard to make things better as opposed to working hard mindlessly should make that choice.
  • Cynical people annoy me. Even in the darkest of my moods I try to remain hopeful and so far it has worked.
  • I think our future is socialist-ish. I believe in the post-scarcity Star Trek kind of world where we can just sit around and make art. We might have to go through a whole lot of compassionate capitalism to get there though.
  • Efficiency and productivity without liberty is meaningless (to me).

On a personal level:

  • I used to find a certain kind of energy and aggression admirable but now it just repels me.  I instead want to be kind and gentle and helpful and polite and truthful. #goals eh?
  • I am much more clear about which relationships I want to invest in. I do so freely and I confidently tell the people I like, that I like them a lot. It makes us all happier I think.
  • I didn’t always speak up when I saw something wrong happen. I got over that, but I still wanted to be liked so I spoke up nicely when something was wrong. Now I make a fuss. Loudly. It makes me unlikable sometimes, I know this. It is tiring. I don’t know if there’ s a better way of doing it.
  • I used to think it was no big deal to break the rules. Now, unless its a really big life or death thing, I’m ok with doing things by the book. What if a child is watching? (This is a reference to a story I read somewhere about a man not crossing the road even though there was no traffic, until the lights turned in his favour. Why didn’t you cross, asks his friend, we could have saved a couple of minutes of waiting. I couldn’t says the man, what if a child was watching?).