.... one unrepaired broken window is
a signal that no one cares, and so
breaking more window costs
~James Q. Wilson &
I don't know how many of you are aware of this "Broken Windows" theory but when I read about it, I found it very occupying. It was like all the dots were connecting to produce a more clearer picture and I was able to correlate it with different levels of our life. Like a universal law it was there in all forms and at all places.
So before few of you scratch your head over, What the heck this Broken Window is ?
Broken Window in real world symbolizes any fallacy or wrong doing you can ever imagine. Whether its a lil lie to someone, some unchecked/ignored error in your finances, breaking traffic rules on road, giving bribe, stalking, stealing, kvetching, bad decisions, poor behavior, misconduct, treason and so on... A tiny slack from your part and there is this sub-conscious understanding inside your cerebra that..... there's an escape, whether knowingly or unknowingly chances of you doing it again increases exponentially.
Because in most of the cases neither you nor the people around you care enough to repair that broken window and than this signal that no one cares resides somewhere deep down in your head. It tempts you to do it again, explore new avenues of it. Trust me this temptation is too enticing to refute. Most of us give up in no time and we create an unstable and figurative neighborhood full of broken windows.
Don't we all are really doing this to ourselves. Well functioning system is just an illusion, in reality things are messed up pretty bad. When watched carefully it's not just the neighborhood, but the whole city and country at large is loomed with infinite instances of broken windows. It's all in human behavior. When we see someone transgressing the law, even under the watchful eyes of a helpless policeman, we don't even care once to follow that same rule. Instead we break another window in the array of broken ones.
Initially "Broken Windows" was just a study on criminal behavior but I guess we all are sane enough to admit that each one of us fall under this radar. So called- Common Man is the real player in action here and when this common man witnesses such broken windows in large numbers committing bigger wrongs(crimes) with no feeling of remorse whatsoever comes naturally. There's no logic to this deviated behavior. It's just it. The devil is inside us, growing monstrously with each passing day.
Negligence is the biggest offense, which we all contravene on daily basis. Instead of correcting [ repairing broken windows] we somehow find ways to encourage it. This ideology has seeped deep down in our veins and we are running out of time to flush it out. We grow up hearing "apne aap se matlab rakho, jyada netagiri karne ki koi zaroorat nahin hai" i.e " Don't bother about what others are doing, whether its wrong or right, just keep things to yourself. Don't mess up". With time we become so obsessively protective of ourselves that in order to maintain this comfy status we can cross any possible limit and yeah here comes in action, the main protagonist of our story - our beloved corruption.
It was the Broken Window theory which laid the foundation of zero tolerance in law enforcement. What I suggest here is that we all have to enforce this idea of Zero Tolerance in our personal lives at individual level. Its not the major deadly crimes but small tolerable crimes that poses big threat to our country's stability and integrity. Let's not modify our behavior into the apathetic one. Just because we Indians believe in karma, afterlife and we worship millions of Gods and Goddesses and we are basically god fearing and can therefore be pardoned for committing lesser infractions. This is not done.
We need to fix these broken windows as soon as we discover them. If we can't fix it than least we can do is label it up for future reference. Don't leave it unattended. For starters experiment on yourself than your family and friends. May be not in months but in years you'll see the change. Change which you can proudly show off to others. Let's make our neighborhood a place of order and fun where you can live happily ever after.
So what do you guys gonna do about the broken windows of your neighborhood ???
You are going to sit tight or you are planning to repair it .
PS: To read original Broken Windows article published in The Atlantic in 1982 Broken Windows http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive
To read a whole book on this subject Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities