The vexing, long-drawn General Strike is at last over. The schools are open. Children are happy to go back to school and join their school mates. And happy to sit down and learn new things.
They have been teaching Set Theory at the maths class in the maid’s school, which she feels is, some what abstruse.
So I have been explaining to her things like Union, Intersection, Difference, the Venn diagrams etc. As I teach, I am intrigued by the similarities between the set theory and the relationships that you have with your people, your friends and the world at large.
Every individual needs to have his own space or domain in this universe. There are times you long to confine yourself unto yourself and indulge in your own obsessions. But then no man can be an island for too long. He needs to draw closer to or interact with someone else or the other. And when you do so there is an overlap in the private spaces of each of the participants to the exchange, which is termed the intersection. The intersection grows bigger and bigger as you draw more and more towards each other It becomes smaller and smaller when you turn away from each other and it ceases to exist when when you pull yourself apart from the relationship.
It is not necessary for the partners to the relationship to be equal or even comparable in magnitude. What is needed is a willingness to share some things of one’s with the other’s and which they both cherish. If one is smaller and doesn’t mind it, one may like to be subsumed by the other . Or if one is bigger, to envelope the other.As RAMA Rao sings in the old nineteen fifties Vijaya movie, Missamma ( Miss Mary in Tamil), ‘ I will give my everything to you, if only you ask, for whatever that I have is yours entirely from now on.”
Coming to the difference between two sets, the difference of one set from another with which it has an intersection, refers to the elements of one set which are exclusive to it and are not shared with the other set with which it has an intersection of certain elements. So the difference of one set from its intersecting partner is distinct from the difference that other partner set has from the first .one. Thus the intersectiom of two sets is the complement of the union of their differences. Pretty complex, eh? Wait. The relationships get complexer when there are more sets than two, intersecting with each other, and the Venn Diagrams get complexer. Fortunately for me, the maid is intelligent enough not to find my explanation unintelligible.
She has unit tests tomorrow onwards.The missus asks her what grade she is expecting to secure. “Second or first.”,she replies, humbly.
“Say, FIRST or second”, I advise her.
The class being over,I turn on the TV. The Bhakti TV comes on.
The Chinna Jeeyer Swamiji comes on, telling his disciples, ” It is natural for humans to be selfish. So try to be more and more selfish by the day. Try to include progressively, more and more people into your exclusive and selfish area. Believe me, it can expand indefinitely, if only you are sincere. Start with your family, then your friends, then the community and then the universe. This is what is implied by the word Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. Expand your selfishness to include the entire universe into your family..”