One thing that I have come to learn and accept – everything in this world is naturally slated to turn into a community. I think, by virtue of being human beings we are endowed with the innate flair to form communities – embrace people who are similar to us, resist those who are different and form signs, symbols and create rituals to cherish the similarities and sustain the community.
A few days back, I joined Wikipedia as a contributor and I was surprised to see how much of a community it actually was, contrary to the free, no-binding form of encyclopedia that it appears out to be. It has all the natural making of the set-up of a family – they have senior contributors, progressive ranking and order, there are rules and proceedings for new contributors, seniors mentor the juniors, there are rules, discussion forums and even an award system where members can give each other badges for their contribution. And all this frankly, saddened me a bit.
Because, the one thing that freaks me out the most is binding – binding to any institution or organization – be it family, corporation or community. This is not to say that I am a rebel. It would be hard for anyone to believe I am one, given the non-assertive demeanor at first glance. For the most part, conflicts put me at disease and sometimes it feels good to be obedient and the ‘good’ member of the group.
Yet after a while, belonging starts to tire you. It feels like somewhere, you are missing a wider perspective of things and crave to leap out of bounds. Plus, communities are naturally slated for competition. It is not a coincidence that almost every person I see tells me, “Oh, there is a lot of politics in my organization”. How can it be that I tend to only meet people from office teeming with politics? It is because organization and politics go together – perhaps more so in some and less in others.
I wonder if complete liberation and non-conformity from institutions is possible at all. Of course, there is a possibility that I keep my participation minimal and emotionally detach myself. Yet, will that give me the freedom I dream of? I wonder…