What makes us Human? Gossips!

“Don’t gossip” would say a stern teacher in school, “solve the sum I have given to do ” And the two buddies who were too eager to talk about the latest story about Jim’s fight with Ronny had to be curtailed.

In the evenings we meet up friends and chat all along about every other friend of us. Who is doing what, who is dating whom and who is going to get married next.

In the office, while working, the phone keeps buzzing because of the chatter that keeps going on in the Whatsapp group.

While commuting back home after office, a quick visit to Twitter exposes us to the global gossip arena. Some people are complaining about someone while another group is defending someone. One says trust this person, others say don’t trust this person. Praises, abuses, allegations, aspersions..the virtual space becomes a replica of  conventional gossip dens.

We like gossiping. We have, over time, tried to create more and more ways to gossip. No doubt the most visited sites on the internet are where gossips are facilitated to take place smoothly! Recall the success of Whatsapp? The most watched TV shows are ones which help us gossip. We love to gossip. It is in our DNA.

I am reading a book “A Brief History of Humankind” by  Yuval Noah Harari. In the book, Harari says “The new linguistic skills that modern humans acquired about seventy millennia ago enabled them to gossip for hours on end. Reliable information about who could be trusted meant that small bands could expand into larger bands,”

“Even today the vast majority of human communication, whether in the form of emails, phone calls or newspaper columns is gossip..

“It comes so naturally to use that it seems as if our language evolved for this very purpose.

“Rumour-mongers are the original fourth estate, journalists who inform society about and thus protect it from cheats and freeloaders.”

I read an aritcle in the Telegraph after this, in which Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University, stated it nicely- “Gossip is what makes people human, because it allows us to pass on vital information about who to trust, and helps us bond with family and friends.”(1)

My reaction when I read it was to smile broadly. I never saw it this way. I like to understand the source of things we consider normal in our day to day life. I am the kind of person who dont talk much with people around and so consider gossip a waste of time.In my office I am seen as a ‘quiet person engrossed in his own world’ But now I see that I have my own way of gossiping. It is by writing in whatsapp or twitter or blog. I like reading and watching few talk shows which I like to talk about or write about later. These days, when we get exposed to so many debates on TV channels, it gives plenty of scope to gossip about who is good and who is not.Even I can’t avoid gossiping about it. It is afterall a primordial instinct to understand who to trust and who not so that we help each other be aware and keep ourselves protected in ‘our tribe’.

Concluding my thoughts, I would say that now I feel gossip as an unavoidable aspect of us. Gossip will happen. In office it often becomes a nuisance to become a subject of other’s gossip.But it will happen.We want to be part of gossip to know about people around us. It’s deeply ingrained. It is the quest to facilitate gossip which has helped us  develop language and technology and a social order.

'You can trust me on this, because I heard it from a friend of a friend of a Facebook friend.'

3 Day Quote Challenge II,Day 1

3 day quote challenge is one of the most adorable challenges that has been endorsed by the blogging community!

Quotes are a powerful medium to share feelings,thoughts and ideas in packets of portable words that often help us find peace,strength and wisdom.

***

I remember when I was young I had that incessant urge to understand the world around me.Why is the sky blue?What is the sun made of?What happens in the moon?Where does the river gets so much water from?How do the pictures appear in the television?.. the list was endless.

When I began to go to school, I often found it difficult to ask too many questions, because most of my queries would not concern the textbooks and I was afraid of being thought of as an outcast who was too naive to ponder about such things nobody seemed much to be bothered about.

But in the course of growing up, I encountered some teachers who started giving answers to many of my questions, without being asked, and despite none of them being in textbooks. They would just say- “You must have wondered why the sky looks blue?”

Imagine how awakened, excited and thrilled I would feel when some teachers did that.

In particular I recall my 8th grade Mathematics teacher who went on to tell every  bit of story  behind Mathematical ideas. “Did you ever wonder why Natural Numbers are called so?” “Did you ever wonder how Algebra developed?” “Did you ever think why they say parallel lines meet at infinity?” I found him answering many of the things I indeed used to wonder about, but never had the courage to ask! Encouraged, I would often accost him after the class and probe him questions that bothered me, apart from those he had already talked about during his lecture.He was always sincere in answering those! In fact he was such an inspiration to so many of my batch-mates, quite a lot of them started loving Mathematics and few of them today, have become Mathematics teacher like him.

I also recall our History teacher, and our Biology teacher who would always go an extra mile to tell us fascinating things related to their subjects, making us keep craving for more- Passing on their passion onto us, the passion to learn, explore and discover!

I want to dedicate my today’s quote to all those such teachers, with due respect and heartfelt admiration.
teacher

I am grateful to Spiritual Journey for kindly nominating me for this challenge! At her blog she has an archive of prolific quotes, motivational stories and compelling spiritual thoughts that will surely impart you with profound perspectives about life! Do visit her blog!

Furthermore, I am grateful to Ebby for also nominating me for this challenge! Ebby is a wonderful conversationalist and she writes about social issues she feels deeply about! A charming and lively personality who writes lucidly, you would surely like reading through her blog.

Thank you very much!

Learning the Writing Style of Favourite Authors

Absorbing the writing style of my favorite authors is the new hobby I have found for myself. This has been a second nature to me always, though.(I mean absorbing the writing pattern of any writer.) Even in the blogosphere, I read the posts of the awesome people I follow, with utmost keenness and interest, to understand and feel what state of emotions would have inspired those words!

Now, I want to take this instinct one step ahead by methodically examining and try acquiring the techniques of my ideal novelists. Few days back I got inspired from Mike’s post (He is a published author, and this was an old post, in which he recounted his prime days)to practice this earnestly.Mike in his post wrote- “..I even typed out Hemingway’s text to see what it felt like to produce such sentences, and started trying to write the next sentence

Precisely! When I read Oscar Wilde, I often say to myself, “Wish I could write like that!” Alike sentiments I get while reading Tennyson’s or Wordsworth’s poetry or Edgar Allan Poe’s tales.So, I resolved to study the narrative forms of  Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe to begin with.(I can take poetry, the next month)

The plump old book “Great collections of Oscar Wilde” and the not so plump but old book “The Tales Of Imagination” by Edgar Allan Poe have been presented with a reserved space on my table for the next one month.A blue notebook, with a pen clasped inside, adorns them on top.

Last night, my subject of study was Oscar Wilde’s short story “The Selfish Giant”.I tried picking up a few sentences, where the aesthetics of Nature had been very neatly narrated.I wrote them down in my blue notebook, read them twice, then tried to cast my own words in a similar prose.I thoroughly relished the exercise! It felt reasonably satisfying!

Tonight I plan to study Poe’s “A Mesmeric Revelation”

Walter Crane The Selfish Giant