Overkill

Shall we look at the psychology behind common happenings? While we are at it, can we also list the impact of such occurrences? Possibly we may uncover a few insights into our own mental states. If it is alright, let us look at the very wide variety of events that can be described as overkill.

I feel most of you would agree with me that the atomic bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki in August -1945 was an overkill in any sense of the word, but definitely in the sense that the destructive power used far exceeded the amount that was necessary. We shall not go into the impact of that one as you are already quite aware of it. So can we try and imagine the kind of thinking that went into the decision to bomb? How it was justified, not to the world at large, because words can be found to justify anything, but to oneself, by the person/s with whom the buck truly stopped?

By the way, I remembered something else, please don’t mind me asking, but do you ever keep multiple copies of the same file? Do some of them become obsolete with time?

This may seem totally unrelated but can you envision what the wandering member of a hunter-gatherer band think when she first saw agriculturists bending down to work?

Finally, let me ask for your opinion about the large earnings some friends are making, by continuing in the same high pressure job, when they don’t really need anything close to survive?

The examples are disparate but the common theme is the desire to ensure an outcome. To make sure of subjugating a very difficult enemy; to guarantee availability of an important file, or food and other stuff.

The desire to ensure an outcome may perhaps exist in an equanimous mind, but more likely, dear friend, it coexists with a fear of the unthinkable. The real or paranoid fear of torture, hurt or slavery may lead us to act violently; the horror of losing ones identity or title to property is unthinkable; a possible move to the slums is dreadful; even a thought of major changes in a lavish lifestyle is inconceivable.

Can we agree that the human society has evolved in the way it has because of a real or paranoid fear of something that may eat or enslave us, while at the same time ensuring to dominate everything on Earth and to go on this path perennially because it may never be safe to pause? Can we also agree that there are reactions, corollaries and aftermaths to all the overkill, be it an extended chokehold or the second amendment?

Dear friend, I ask myself in your presence. Shall I, during my lifetime, continue to rush on the same highway or will I ever chose the alternative, the path of moderation shown long ago, by Siddharth, Gautam?

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