Humans love to form ghettos
With this outsider vs insider issue that’s being discussed so hotly by the media, by intellectuals and by the common man, it reminded me of the fact that human nature is such that we love to form groups and leave others out. It doesn’t matter what our nationality, race, religion or colour is, the truth is that human beings love to form ghettos.
It’s a myth to think that once people of one religion live together they won’t exclude others. It’s a myth to imagine that once people who speak the same language live together they will accept all. Another myth that people of the same class won’t from groups and so on. We all know this don’t we. But despite knowing this we rave and rant against those who don’t accept us.
I had written a post on a similar topic (titled It’s a human need to reject others) early last year, but it was in response to the suicide of Srikant Mallepallu, a bright young man who studied in IIT. This boy, being from a different background, could not fit into the IIT culture and as a result found it difficult to make friends. Ofcourse, why a person commits suicide is known only to himself, but the lack of acceptance amongst his peers was a factor that drove him to increasing loneliness and despair, it led him to find a sense of belonging in the virtual world, and finally it led him to his death.
That is the key here. A sense of belonging. Everyone needs to find it and it’s easier to get it when there are others to exclude! In that post I had explained that this basic human need, the need to find a sense of belonging, works best when ‘others’ exist.
Remember Abraham Maslow? He laid out an hierarchy of needs. Primary amongst them are our physiological needs. But what happens when all these needs are satisfied?
We seek a sense of safety and belonging. We need to belong to a group. The need to belong is just a little less important than our primary physiological needs! This need happens to be more important than the need to achieve. And the need to belong is intertwined in a twisted way with the need to reject. The more we reject, the more we belong to those we accept.
Actually Maslow’s next need – Self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others – is also closely tied to this need for rejection. A page 3 type of person (In India the page 3 set is the glamour set) will probably experience an enhanced self-esteem if he/she moves around in “exclusive” circles.
And what happens when our physiological needs are being blocked by those we consider ‘outsiders,’ like in the recent issue in Maharashtra? It’s a powder keg waiting to be lighted.
To say that human beings shouldn’t feel a particular way is futile, because we do. It’s easy to condemn those who reject you, but what about them? Wouldn’t you feel the same if you were in their shoes?
A quote from my other post:
Human beings find all kinds to reasons to reject others. Social status, background, language, accent, race, grades, looks, manner, religion, sexual preferences, dress, colour, weight, intelligence or simply because of the person is new in the neighbourhood…
I am guilty too. I firmly reject those whom I believe to be dishonest or hypocritical. I also reject those who have very narrow definitions of whom they accept. In fact I go a step further. I think my method of filtration is the best 😉
Related Reading: Suicide rates of the world and why people kill themselves
Some reasons for the high suicide rate in India
Some tips on how you can help people manage their depression and grief
Humans like forming ghettos
About Euthanasia – even if it’s illlegal people want it