Saturday, May 25, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Breaking out of individualistic pursuits

Does our pursuit of beauty and affluence make any sense?

Update : 12 Jan 2024, 11:07 PM

In an unrelenting quest for influence, modern society has adopted the ostensibly contemporary philosophies of maximizing wealth and amplifying beauty in the last couple of decades, while disregarding the blessings of a knowledge-based society. These endeavours, which are frequently driven by a climate of intense competition and desperation for individual achievement, have produced a culture in which people will go to a great extent to attain an unattainable optimum.

In this era where individual achievements frequently define success, the aspiration to distinguish oneself becomes all-consuming. This individualistic approach has far-reaching and, over time, detrimental effects on the social fabric. Consequently, a more thorough analysis is warranted of the ramifications of this ceaseless pursuit.

Individualism, when taken to the extreme, fosters a culture where personal gain takes precedence over communal well-being. The solitary pursuit of beauty and wealth leaves behind those who are unable to keep pace. This fractured society's relentless pursuit of personal success runs the risk of alienating people and weakening the ties that bind communities.

The constant comparison and race to outdo others creates an environment where collaboration diminishes and the definition of success becomes narrowly focused on individual accomplishments instead of collective advancements. Thus, the social and familial fabric has been diminishing very quickly, leaving posterity in peril.

Beauty becomes a weapon, wielded not only by women but increasingly by men as well. The use of physical appearance to establish dominance is a troubling trend that exacerbates societal divides. Beauty, when utilized as a tool for supremacy, perpetuates unrealistic standards and fuels insecurity, creating a culture where superficiality triumphs over substance.

The consequences of this beauty-centric narrative are particularly concerning. Individuals are coerced into conforming to narrow ideals, leading to a society where self-worth is disproportionately tied to external aesthetics. A population with problems with body image and identity crises results from the pursuit of beauty as a metric of influence, which sustains a culture that values facade over authenticity.

In contrast, those who are ordinary and content with natural attractiveness, a sufficient standard of living, and the idea of an inclusive society are exempt from the negative consequences associated with these concerns.

They find contentment and embrace a philosophy rooted in inclusivity, valuing the richness of a society where diverse contributions are celebrated. They find fulfillment in meaningful connections, shared experiences, and the pursuit of a more inclusive family and social life. Their joy derives from fostering genuine relationships and contributing to collective well-being. Their concerns extend beyond the superficial measures of influence and supremacy. For these ordinary humans, the side effects of the beauty and wealth race are mere distractions.

The rationality of our concern for beauty and wealth must be scrutinized, and a recalibration of our societal values is imperative, because it poses a threat to the collective well-being of our society. Sociologists and philosophers need to discuss this tendency with the utmost seriousness and guide people on to the right path through knowledge sharing.

Gradually, humans need to shift the focus to a more holistic understanding of success -- one that values inclusivity, collaboration, and the richness of diverse contributions. By redefining our metrics of influence, we can cultivate a society that celebrates the inherent worth of every individual, irrespective of adherence to superficial standards.

Probir Kumar Sarker is a journalist and researcher.

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