Dangers of distancing demand more than ephemeral vigilance4 min read 06 Jul 2022, 10:30 PM IST
The pandemic showed how it deludes us into believing that we understand a lot more than we do
It’s hard to see things clearly from a distance. The resolution is poor. The image is flattened. We often interpret whatever is visible through mental imagery and models that we already hold. This is true not just for physical distances, but distances of wealth and power, and, of social and cultural distances. All this is commonly known and understood. We also know that this phenomenon is a significant contributor to the development of prejudices and stereotypes. But the gulf between something being commonly known and understood, and that knowledge being used effectively to counteract any negative social and human effect, is vast. The behaviour of human societies is far short of their accumulated wisdom. Else, we would already have paradise on earth.