Sunday 12 October 2014

Accepting Human Imperfection & Hypocrisy

If I have to think of one word that fits all humans accurately, then I would say it is 'imperfect'. If I have to think more, pick another word, then I would pick 'hypocrite'. Unfortunately, I can't think of word with positive meaning or even connotation - to fit accurately across all. Not every one is kind / friendly / jovial / loving / selfless / giver ... I am sure I have put the point across w.r.t. positive connotation words fitting all humans...they can't!

Few weeks ago - I wrote a short poem to describe some of my thoughts on human imperfection. The reason I am writing again on the subject is because I don't think this idea has been dealt with in depth that it demands. Also, I now have another angle to discuss - hypocrisy added with imperfection...this makes us, humans, quite the special one!

In any interaction between two humans - both of these aspects, imperfection & hypocrisy, play their respective roles. It is important to note here that these aspects vary from person to person and interaction to interaction. Person X, when interacting with Person Y could display an entirely different combination of imperfection & hypocrisy, than when interacting with Person Z.

There is an added complication - who decides what is perfect? Whose idea of perfection is perfect and thus should become the benchmark?

We all create our own definitions, basis our roots, our upbringing, our social network, our own outlook, our own beliefs and our own idea of perfection...because of this, it is hardly possible to find people fitting in our mould of perfection, perfectly!

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone to have me say that no human is perfect and also, all humans have some level of hypocrisy in-built! Actually, the ones who would believe they are perfect, would be the ones to have highest level of hypocrisy as well...

Let's bring back Persons X & Y, within their interactions we can see hypocrisy at play. Let's say that Person X does not like Person Y's religious bent of mind - going to temples, keeping fasts...however, Person X is superstitious enough to still go to the temple on one particular day of the week - just because he's been asked to go by an astrologer. If Person X is okay to go to the temple (for what ever reason - obviously not backed by any reason or logic) - then there shouldn't be any problem with Person Y's faith & interest in religion.

Fact of the matter is - we are not only hypocrite with things we claim about ourselves, but also about what we allow others to do in front of us. Hypocrisy can be at play in a slightly different manner too - Person X doesn't like Person Y going to the temples, but, is okay with Person Z doing the same. This could happen between boss & team (favouritism does happen in offices), this could happen between parents & their more than 1 children, this could happen between friends...which ever interaction we can think of - I am confident that selective hypocrisy plays some role in that interaction.

In my opinion accepting both, imperfection & hypocrisy within ourselves - is the first step towards better-understanding our interactions with others. Without this acceptance, we can never understand how we possibly could be wrong, how the other person is not all that we can improve on things as they stand today. Without this - we will either lose company of good friends, good team members or - lose their respect for us.

'Perfect-for-each-other' people will not necessarily make perfect relationships...however, imperfect people who are willing to work on their relationships, will manage a perfect one!

The good part of both - imperfection & hypocrisy, is that they allow for a plenty of room for improvement...we just need to be open to accept, change & improve.

Thursday 9 October 2014

I have been...I still...

I have been hopeless
I have been alone
No company, not even a sound

I have been pushed back
I have been down in the abyss
Lying gagged & bound

I have been beaten
I have been cut open
Left bleeding on the ground

I still lived through & survived
I still believed
Got up...refused to be drowned

I still thought of you
I still saw a reason to smile
Thanked the love I had found

I still am scared
I still have sleepless nights
Comfort is having you around

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Is Anything 'Real'?

I have often wondered why is this life the way it is, which I am sure is not unique to me. The questions - 'what is life / what is real / do I really exist', do make their presence felt in my mind. There are a couple of reasons for me to write this post: one, I have been thinking & writing about life, reality, pain and similar things - making this post only natural and two (more importantly), earlier today I saw the movie Inception again (on TV).

There are two movies that have left me with a feeling that, probably, what we consider our world, our reality, is all a game for somebody - or worse, a joke! 

I was in college when The Matrix came out and for the first time, after seeing the movie - I walked out questioning if indeed what I considered as real, was real! Before I saw this movie, I had never questioned my surroundings, my environment, my reality - as I lived. Needless to say questioning the reality didn't last long and, obviously, I didn't get any answers to help me understand anything better - neither about the reality, nor about possibility of my existence inside 'the matrix'!

However, impact of this movie has been strangely strong still. Till date I wonder if I am nothing more than a small part of a ginormous game making me, somehow, inconsequential. This is an important feeling, especially when I feel ginormous pressure of things not going my way. If I accept that I am inconsequential in the larger scheme of things, then my problems, my fears, my disappointments are just as inconsequential...thus not worth fretting about!

The second movie that pushed me to question my real-seeming-life was Inception. My take away from Inception is not about possibility of stealing ideas from someone's mind or bigger still - planting the seed of an idea in someone's mind. That, I understand, is fantasy world. The concept of dreams becoming more real than reality and possibility of building alternative reality basis shared dreams is my take from this movie.

For someone who rarely remembers any of his dreams, this concept of dreams becoming more real than reality was quite a leap. Almost similar to the idea that The Matrix had - reality is not necessarily as we know it, as we feel it, as we see it, as we understand can I be absolutely certain that I am not just a computer generated entity living on commands given to me, within the scope allowed OR just a projection of someone's mind, in his / her dream!

Monday 6 October 2014

Human Mirrors

“Look in the mirror and one thing is sure: what we see is not who we are.” ― Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever: A True Love Story

There is something fascinating about mirrors, something mystical actually. Mirrors allow us to see things about ourselves that are as is - also allow us to visualise who we would want to be. This vision of reality & visualisation of fantasy are some of the truest moments of our day, which are becoming increasingly rare. Either scenario - not seeing the reality and not being able to visualise our fantasy is linked to losing a bit of confidence, a bit of faith and a bit of our ability to dream.

Pressures of daily life, experiences that have changed us, feeling of limitations that has crept in, responsibilities that have piled-on over time...are just some of the parameters that lead to creation of a changed perception of ourselves in our mind...leading to losing touch with both, the reality as is and the fantasy that we would want to carry in our dreams.

The life we lead becomes our reality, not realising just because we are flowing with the flow - it is necessarily the reality. We have the power to change course of our lives and thus, change the reality itself. We don't even see the possibility of an alternative reality, however small difference there is in the alternative from the present.

Over a period of time I have come to understand that there are 2 kinds of mirrors - inanimate & animate mirrors. The former is, obviously, easier to understand - these are the mirrors, the objects that show us our reflection and we find them at various places around us.

The inanimate mirrors are just objects that, when added with introspection, show us the reality and allow us to take a moment to think about the fantasy we once had for ourselves...this moment at times can be enough for us to start visualising that fantasy once remind us of the path we would want to be reignite a spark inside us to get closer to that fantasy. Unfortunately, this moment of time, which may have renewed our interest in our fantasy, is nothing but a moment of time and fades away - sooner than later. Rarely the renewed spark, brought out in that moment, is strong enough to offset the reasons that subdued the spark in the first place.

What I call animate mirrors are actually humans or 'human mirrors'. There are certain people, whom we come across and immediately connect with. This connection is more than just is deeper, it is is about understanding  each and every aspect about the other person. In order to clarify this further, I am suggesting understanding the other person, not accepting or appreciating everything about the other person. 

With human mirrors, I believe the connection is strong due to similarities between the two individuals...similarities of background, similarities in outlook, similarities in attitude, similarities in dreams and fears, similarities in understanding of this world and life in general...similarities in self-image. I will rather extend this to say that human mirrors, have mirroring nature & habits, hopes & dreams, fears & pain...

It is not difficult to imagine that finding even one person in our life, with such similarities and understanding is a rarity and thus nothing short of God's gift.

Much like the inanimate mirrors, the animate mirrors help us see our reality of the moment and also, have the ability and to remind us of what we would want to be...essentially, bring out our subdued and forgotten visions and dreams. They have the understanding to see alternative realities for us and the willingness to suggest we do something about making the change.

Standing in front of the 'human mirrors' for long, or even meeting them often or, for that matter speaking with them on a regular basis is not important...irrespective of the geographical distance and the time lapsed since the last communication exchange, 'human mirrors' never lose the ability to work as mirrors.

It is important to note that all that has been said above about human mirrors, stands quite true for friends in general. However, there is a slight difference between friends and human mirrors. A friend may not hold on to the willingness to become a mirror - thus may not be able to continue to understand the other person after a period of time. This gap in willingness, compromises not just the ability to completely understand the other person, but also the ability to show reality and the vision for future. And this, in my view is the simple difference between a friend and a human mirror!

A human mirror shall never lose this understanding & willingness...A human mirror shall never show a distorted view...a human mirror shall never show an image just to please.