An ATM inside a room, with an air conditioner, and security personnel to guard the room and the air conditioner — quite easily our most redundant additions to an otherwise simple instrument.
Doesn’t it defeat the simplicity of the machine itself? But then again, the argument, “This is India. It always good to be safe” is quite outdated and baseless.
In one of my recent visits to an ATM nearby, I came across an act that was innocent but quite easily amusing and anecdotal — a man, wiping fingerprints off the buttons of the ATM while he waited for the machine to throw out his receipt. With a lack of subtlety and an almost secret agent like vigour, this man proceeded to wipe the entire ATM to make sure he left no trace.
I know most of you are already dismissing me as a condescending jerk. “Yeah, I wipe the ATM after using it too. So?” It is just one of those little glimmers of human behaviour that bring out the bigger evolutionary model — we are a paranoid bunch of people.
Paranoia — rhymes with soya, yet available in abundance, unlike its partner in rhyme. We are all paranoid in small doses. “What if my friends are talking about me behind my back?” “What if the entire world is conspiring to kill me?” “What if the government is tricking me into doing things that I don’t want?”
Paranoia triggers mass hysteria. This is a known fact. Mass hysteria’s dirty street name is ‘Herd Mentality.’ It is quite easily one of the biggest contradictions in our evolutionary model. We have evolved into beings that have the ability to form our own individual beliefs — but at the same time, we believe in what most large public groups say. What’s the problem with that? In today’s world, where consumption of information (most of which is false or useless) is more than just noteworthy, mass hysteria is a giant ball of cotton waiting to catch fire.
Our ability to believe in a particular happening is powered by a lot of other factors, even though one’s own belief system lies entirely in his/her hands. But what if it didn’t? What if your superpower was to form a belief in something that was entirely your own doing? Nobody else’s opinion counted. An ideal and essential eradication of mass hysteria triggered by paranoia.
For starters, this superpower is something all of us are entitled to. We don’t have to believe in what everybody else believes. Even though this does sound ideal, let me tell you that it actually isn’t. This means that, sometimes, our beliefs might standout from the crowd. You could make come to your own conclusions. Every day would be like the ambiguous ending from your favourite book.
Believing in something means that you need to form an opinion and an opinion is quite subjective, in other words — what you believe in might not always be morally, ethically or legally right. With that being said, isn’t it better than believing something is true because the rest of the country says so?
Most of you think that isn’t true? Well, think again.
(When he isn’t writing, the creative producer with The Rascalas watches a lot of ‘cat videos’ on YouTube)