Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Grain from the Chaff

Most people are able to separate the "grain from the chaff", i.e, the real talented ones from the "untalented" ones. Yet, many support the "chaff" just because the "chaff" belongs to their community or religion or other discriminating criteria that people put to use. They would rather that a "chaff" of their chosen criteria wins the prize, recognition, position than a grain belonging to other rejected, not accepted criteria. I think that by now you would have understood what I am talking about. I am not giving a talk on harvesting techniques. I am talking about the blind support that we give to some issues or people without allowing for their drawbacks or faults. When someone else points out their lacunae we become defensive and sometimes downright stubborn and rude in seeking to support our "pet".

Recently I attended a music competition. Seated behind me were, as was quite obvious from their vociferation, were the supporters of a participant. On hearing their hurrahs one naturally thought that the participant in question was highly talented. Alas. That participant was a nincompoop. His performance did not even take off, to the say the least. Yet, his supporters persisted in their hollering. That was really good of them. In an age where loyalty is thought of as a relic of a bygone era, their loyalty even to a dying cause was and is commendable. However, what happened next was totally unacceptable.

The next performer, a girl, stole the show with her dance moves and superb voice modulations. Added to that her song selection was impeccable which enabled her to showcase the entire gamut of her vocal range. If the Les Miserables behind me had appreciated her performance and given it its due credit, they would have transmogrified into gentlemen. They didn't.

They began catcalling and verbally abusing the participant in effort to dishearten or even intimidate her. It became so bad that the organisers had to warn them to desist else they would ask the bouncers to carry out their duty. They quietened after that.

The question is why did they do it in the first place? Why couldn't they accept the fact that there was another candidate who was visibly better than their candidate? Is the victory at all costs gluttony so infectious? I leave the debate open....

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