Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wrong? What's that...

As many of you have come to realize, my blog articles are usually results of discussions/debates/arguments that I have had with one or more of my friends. This one being one of the more popular ones, I am sure many of you have already had this discussion with me. Here is an opportunity to respond with your take for the world to see and view something so basic from a different eye if you haven’t already.

Depending on the background you come from, here are a couple scenarios that you may relate to at some level.

1. You are in India having dinner at home, your family is what some would consider traditional, and a hardcore rock star appears on television. Hair all colored and long (like hooligans as described by mom), music funky and loud (surely from the devil as described by dad), and a kid your age ends up approaching the star for an autograph overwhelmed to even be in his/her divine presence. At this your parents exclaim in unison, “Oh lord! Kids these days have gone so wrong.” Your dad forbids you from ever becoming like that, while in your heart you know you love that star.

2. Today, you went out and got yourself a tattoo. Seems like suddenly the world has split into half, those who agree with this gesture and those who don’t. You flaunt it on facebook as you really don’t care about what others think. However, you refrain from telling your parents and a few other very close friends, ones you are sure disapprove. They have had countless discussions with you regarding how you’d have to live with it your entire life and that when you become old you’d hate to even look at it, etc. You have heard it all and yet decided to go ahead.

Scenario 1, in that room of 3 and country of over a billion you were surely outnumbered to consider the persona of the rock star to be that of a ‘right’/’proper’ individual. Step out in one bigger circle, and soon you’d realize that there are innumerous people around the world you idolize the star just as much as you do and see nothing wrong with it, nor do they have anyone telling them otherwise. Scenario 2, you may be frowned upon in a traditional church or place of worship but you’d fit right in at a night club in any city of the world.

The more I came to realize these situations, the more people I saw living/prospering happily around the world doing all the things I grew up to know as wrong (borderline sinful), I developed a new theory about right or wrong: There is no right or wrong in this world, there is only different. My understanding is that as long as you are not intentionally hurting someone you CANNOT be wrong. I can’t stress it enough that ANYTHING you chose to do you’ll find enough people in the world who think just like you. You may stand out in your surroundings, might get resented for the same, but it is your principles and your life.

That said never close yourself to criticism, opinions and judgments from those with experience as they inevitably should append to your understanding of life itself. If you feel strong enough about your thoughts, be ready to defend them to anyone willing to converse with logic.

Comments/rebuttals/views accepted/requested. I am quite clear about my logic and certainly willing to adapt/learn/defend.

Live... Laugh… Love...


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Past, Present or Future?

Some live life freely; some never stop to worry; some like me constantly attempt at finding the right way to live life. No matter which path you choose, I write today to stress the importance of doing so in the present rather than in the past or for the future.

People ask you to learn from your past and implement it towards your future. In this attempt, we often forget about our present. Present as the name suggests is very much a gift; a gift that life offers you over and over again, a chance to use it right every day. Choices made in the past need not have any bearing on the present no matter how helpless you feel. Choices you make today need not be second guessed no matter how unsure you feel. Make every decision at its merits and demerits visible currently and then, instead of reevaluating your choice, spend time making it into the right decision.

Just recently I heard a lecture on synthetic happiness. Without getting into much detail, I’d like to present the conclusion of the lecture which said, the human mind when not given a choice automatically learns to love and be happy regarding its decisions and the outcomes of those decisions. By restricting yourself from second guessing yourself, you will allow your brain to inherently make you happy regarding your choices. This may convince you, it may not, but simply try it out and the results will speak for themselves.

Now that we can stop worrying about the decisions we just made, let’s focus on the worries that crowd our mind regarding decisions we need to make. I’ll share a little bit about myself; some of you may relate to it closely, some may have had a completely different experience. Growing up, life was blissful and tension free till about 9th grade. Till then scoring in exams, behaving like a good kid at school, brat at home, not planning for more than a minute in the future was the extent of my life. Until recently, I can’t remember another phase better than those days. I am sure you all agree to the childhood years being the very best. It got me thinking, how to reproduce the same kid in you while taking on the responsibilities of a grown up?

Beginning of 9th grade, life’s so called responsibilities started sequentially lining themselves up. Scoring the very best in 10th grade was important to get into a good junior college. Scoring the very best in 12th grade was imperative for getting into a good college. Doing well in college was so necessary to get a great job. Early on, my focus had already been faltering from the widely accepted Indian theory of: follow a great career path at any cost. After my admissions overseas for college, I had begun to slack in my 12th grade preparation and convinced myself on living a multiple goal driven life. Without losing sight of a career, I focused on jumping the band wagon on the social triumphant happy looking genre of life.

All this rambling, I guess, just to make the point that live in the present, do what comes to heart, convince yourself about your choices and you can convince anyone else. Stop worrying about the next step, stop worrying about the bad phases of the past, breathe freely, enjoy today as it will only last for so long. In the idiotic but true words from the movie Rang de Basanti, “ek tang to past main hai dujee future main, tabhi to beech main moot rahey hai..”(With one leg in the past and another in the future, we seem to be peeing on our present).