Losing Integrity Over Identity

We see a lot of people moving out of their native lands for occupation. When I see them, I normally feel bad for them because they miss their hometown, their relatives, their language, their cuisine and their traditions. Some of my close friends are such people.

If they have lived outside their native for generations, they worry that they have lost their identity. So I’m glad when I see them meet others from their native lands or who speak their native language.

There are some of these people who annoy me though. Some of them, let’s call them X, get so excited when they meet ‘one of their own’, let’s call them Y, that they lose all sense of morals and support them to the core.

Assume X and Y meet in school. If X was the teacher and Y was the student, Y would get good grades in the subject that X handles, even when Y wrote the exam badly. If Y was in college and X was a lecturer, Y would get full marks in internals and practicals of X’s subject.

In both cases, Y would be applauded for every small good thing they do, even if it is trivial. Y would never be admonished, whether Y bunked class, slept in the class, got caught copying in exams, caused a ruckus in class. No deed done is bad enough to scold the darling Y.

At work, if X and Y were in the same team, X would say that everything Y did is great. Even if all Y did was to tell the time, X would say “Y was sitting next to us when we asked the time. It was 5 minutes before the deadline. The project got completed on time because Y said the time correctly. If Y had said it wrong, we may have missed the deadline and that would have been awful. We should give an award to Y for the timely good work”.

If Y had a competitor, X would belittle that person and make them look incompetent. Even if Y’s competitor did a great job, X would give some sarcastic remark and make it sound like they did something bad.

If X and Y were on different projects, X would go out of their way to make Y get a good name. If there was an event in the office, X would ensure that Y got to do the part that they wanted.

Though the whole office thought Y sucked at the event, X would proclaim that Y was too good at what they did. X would repeat it so often that the people who didn’t witness the action would think very highly of Y. They would unassumingly enlist Y for similar roles during the next event.

If X was a senior person, they would have a say in hiring. That causes a big problem. Not only would X try to hire ‘one of their own’, but also find faults in other candidates. This would falter the hiring decisions and decrease the organization’s efficiency.

If Y had stabbed someone (let’s call them Z) with a knife, X would say “Y did nothing wrong. Y was just holding the knife and pointed it out. Z leaned into the knife and got killed. Poor Y has never seen anyone die. Y feels so shocked. We should all go console Y and condemn Z for making Y sad.”

I gave examples of someone obsessed with their native language showing favouritism to the extreme. You may have witnessed someone behave the same way in favour of people of their own race, religion, country, state, town, caste, creed, etc.

How important is it to be impartial? Thiruvalluvar has the answer:

தகுதி எனவொன்று நன்றே பகுதியால்
பாற்பட்டு ஒழுகப் பெறின்.

The above Thirukkural means that the most important virtue is equity, wherein all divisions of people (enemies, strangers and friends) are treated equally.

The Xs of the world think that they can somehow assert their identity by favouring ‘their own people’. What they fail to realize is that others will easily see through them. If more people from X’s background behaved like X, all of them will be disliked by the public. Though they try to bring honour to their identity, by losing their integrity they will only succeed in tarnishing it.

No one thing can define us, be it our country, language, native place, race, religion, caste, creed, gender, age, education. Nothing! It is ridiculous to cling on to one of these so-called identities. Our righteousness should not be sold out for anything.

4 thoughts on “Losing Integrity Over Identity

  1. TSP says:

    I can understand your frustration regarding preferential treatment rather than meritocracy. It’s a difficult concept to come to terms with because it’s so obviously wrong.
    Great piece! Keep up the good work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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