Neuroscience of Servitude

shackles photoOne way to to classify human beings is according to the types of roles they assume in employment and similar spheres of life. According to this the world can be divided into three types of people; bosses, servants and people who are both bosses and servants at the same time. The first type of people assume authoritative roles in life. They become CEOs of companies and businesses, politicians and chiefs. They love their job as such. They master the art of manipulating people. And they love that too.

The second type of people are servants. The only talent they have, or they know that they have, is to serve other people. And due to lack of better ideas they spend their entire lives in serving in such roles. These are the type of people I am going reflect on in this article. But before doing so, let me briefly reflect on the third type of people.

The people who both serve and get served at the same time. Such roles are already quite common and I am sure there are plenty of people who work in such roles in almost any company and corporation. Stated simply, these people have a knack for figuring out who is who in the hierarchy of their company and respond as such to the type of person they are responding to.

I wanted to stretch my thoughts about the second type of people in this article. The people who only know how to serve. In my point of view, such people can further be classified as people who can simply serve and remain docile for the rest of their lives in the roles they have been given. However, there are other types of servants who also rebel and betray at times. The purpose of writing this article is to figure out ways to address that why people behave like this and what could be the possible remedies.

The idea of writing this article came to my mind after my own interaction with a person who was supposedly superior to me in the hierarchy of a company where I have worked. I am not going to disclose the particulars of the place for the mere purpose of confidentiality.

A long time ago I was sitting with a person to whom I was supposed to show respect. I was asked to submit a piece of paper. The tone was friendly, casual and calm. I stretched the paper out and handed it over. And as I stretched the paper out there was an inner impulse in my mind to behave in a docile manner while doing so. I felt an instantaneous wave ensuing through that impulse that traveled all the way from my head, through the bones of my right arm, to the tips of the fingers. The message that was modulated on the wave was to show respect, behave well and to be compliant.

And the very next impulse was to hide that docility. That created a whirlpool of waves in my mind to stretch the arm back to the torso and to regain composure. There was a clear intuition to not come across as overly doing it, or doing it at all. It was possibly that inner daemon that everyone calls the self, and that tells everyone wrong things about themselves in critical situations.

Overall the experience of handing over the piece of paper and the consequent conversation went quite well. The most noticeable thing for me was that nobody noticed that deluge of inner waves that guided my behavior in those moments of my life. Apparently I was quite calm and well-behaved as I normally am. On the inside, only I know the discomfort I have been through, no matter how slight. That contradiction of ideas in no matter how mundane a moment where a slight inner conflict, when it could have manifested itself in my behavior could have put me an embarrassing situation. What if I overly flattered the person? What if I acted slightly awkward after dwelling on the idea that I was acting like a servile flatterer, and reacting boorishly about it? What if I said out loudly all the messages that were generating in my mind about my behavior? Of course, one can choose to be funny while deciding to make a vociferous switch, but what if all my mouth did was a naive, embarrassing babble?

I dwelled on both the impulses latter on for some time. Although nobody noticed them on the surface of my behavior. However, I thought that it was worth contemplating on them for a while.

Why is that so that sometimes you get an inner signal to behave in the most obedient of the manners at times. And why is it so at other times that you tend to behave boorishly. Sometimes, even while you are acting obediently at one time, there can be a tendency to behave badly at the same time. There can be this inner voice that can tell you that you are trying to flatter the person in from of you. And as a result of that you may as well behave quite badly at the same time.

I cannot generalize this for everyone of course. And I have had a chance to meet many people in life who are really decent, cool and successful at the same time. However, this is true that there exist people who, for one reason or the other, exhibit such behaviors. This may not be noticeable for some. However, in cases, especially where such behaviors are auspiciously apparent, such people may be deemed to have personality disorders of sorts.

This brings us to the questions why do certain people behave in ways in which they are either absolutely docile or are mostly and apparently docile but have a propensity to rebel and betray at the same time.

I would like to argue that such people are quite vulnerable at the same time. They can easily be branded as ill bred and badly groomed and this might cost them the fortune of their employ-ability.

Perhaps this has to do with bad schooling. This is a truth that children in Pakistan can receive a lot of bashing as young pupils at school. When we were younger we could be beaten, bullied, harassed and abused not only by our teachers, but also by our seniors. Sometimes the beating could be really harsh to create severe injuries. Beating students can have a lot of negative consequences on the personality as a whole. For one thing the student becomes extremely dumb. Beating a student for every mistake he (or she) is a strong inhibiting factor that does not allow for the mental faculties of the student to expand really well. It also inhibits in the mental maturation of the student. The student can also become quite timid in some cases. In other cases, as the pupil walks in to the years of adolescence through childhood while being beaten like an animal, the student may become boorish as a reaction. This is particularly true about male students not only because male students receive a lot of beating, but also because male students have this propensity to become virile as they advance into their adolescent years. The student can become rebellious and may try to find find ways to betray the authority as he matures. As a result, what you get is an extremely docile but worthless individual or a very sneaky person with monstrous abilities lurking inside him that he could unleash mostly for his disadvantage at times, and sometimes be perilous for the whole enterprise.

Appropriate grooming of children and adolescents is an extremely important idea that receives a lot of attention elsewhere in the developed world, however it is largely ignored and mostly mismanaged in Pakistan. As a result what we have is a largely messed up society.

These ideas might not only sound mundane, rather also weird. They are however, important and should be paid due attention if we want to have a sustainable society. The idea that you are being nice to your boss apparently, whereas you are disloyal to him from inside is not quite elegant.

Photo by jdpage

If you found an error, highlight it and press Shift + Enter or click here to inform us.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Neuroscience of Servitude by Psyops Prime is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Leave a Reply