27 Nov 2008

The convoluted process

I'm sitting here this morning in a very odd frame of mind.  I am not depressed or sad, but I am in a contemplative yet slightly despondent mood. Well, not exactly despondent either - more like disappointed. My mind once again went on a convoluted path this morning.

It started when I went into the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea. I have to take some antibiotics for the 'dog' cough I mentioned a few posts back - these are big suckers. So I bought myself a pill splitter. Honestly, someone invented a gadget to split pills that are too big (or to correct dosage eg., taking 10 mg of a 20 mg pill). It's a simple triangular compartment that the pill slides down into (so it can take pills of any size or shape) and the cover has a sharp blade. Pop a pill in, close the cover and voilà - you have a neatly halved pill.

Well, my thought ran to the many inventions we take for granted that are just as simple and we use everyday, by the millions. Someone somewhere is getting richer by the minute from them. Take the zipper, the safety pin, the aglet, the radio for examples. bet you thought Marconi invented the radio. You'd be wrong, it was invented by Nikola Tesla, one of the most prolific inventors of all times.

Then I came to my computer and I remembered the new Tobacco Bill that is being debated in Trinidad and Tobago. I came to the TT Parliament website in hopes that I would find a copy I can read. No luck yet, but I did find a write-up on The Process Of Lawmaking.

All organizations need rules to function. Society, as the most complex of organizations, needs a large variety of rules to govern relations with and between its members.

That sentence led me to thinking how much lawmakers and generally leaders in society want us to conform to a pattern of sheep-like behaviour. The village elders frown upon rambunctious (and other - even if harmless) behaviour. So do the politicians, the lawyers, the judges. Seriously speaking, have you noticed that whenever we are not like everyone else, sooner or later there will be some law passed to 'manage' us?

Granted, not all behaviour outside of the acceptable sheep-like one is harmful, but you will be surprised at when you won't fit in, how much effort will be spent trying to force your square-arsed self into the round hole or vice versa.

I can't help but think that some of the brightest innovators in our history though, were men who did not conform and were only recognised as exceptional ages after.

Then my thoughts ran to my business module at Uni and I wondered why university and institutes of learning have lecturers who teach business yet have not managed or owned successful businesses. I could be wrong but sometimes the most successful businesses are those who break out of the theory taught at school and who risk being different.

Which brings me back to sheep-like behaviour. Would Trinidad ever break out of the mould and move into being different? What I intend by that is whether the people will ever begin to think for themselves, or continue to follow what they are told, just to be shafted up the nether hole time and time again. Somehow, my expectations are not very high at this time.

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