Each of us is special, yes, and different from the rest of humanity in countless infinitesmial ways. Yet, we, the human beings, are also irrevocably bound and the actions of each one of us ultimately affects everyone else.
The sphinx used to ask wayfarers: “What is it that walks on four legs at dawn, on two legs later and on three legs at twilight?” None could answer the riddle till Oedipus came along and said: “It’s the human being.” It is not often that we, like Oedipus, see the sameness – the commonality – that binds us all.
We, who constitute the human race, are all so alike in so many ways, and yet, for most part, it is our individuality, our ego, that dominates. And, in the race to assert our independent identity, we seem to be losing our ability to identify ourselves with the rest of the universe.
Better indidviduals would make a better world – a better universe – is the fundamental idea of this blog. So far, I have been talking about how we, as individuals relate to our ‘selves’ and our immediate families and how our responses can make for a more humane world. Before placing ourselves in the context of the society and the world in which we live, I thought it would help to make a summary of the discussion (albeit almost one-sided) so far. So, here goes:
The agenda or rules of the ‘Blue Movement’ (Culled from/ based on the discussion so far):
- Anger vitiates the atmosphere. Try alternative expressions to anger. (Metarule: Passivity or inaction is not an acceptable response.)
- ‘Forgiving’ could make us feel self-righteous. Cultivate compassion instead. Compassion is born of a deeper sense of love, kindness, empathy.
- Everyone is a product of circumstances, upbringing and opportunities, and the physical, mental and spiritual health of each individual has a bearing on their outlook, thoughts, words and actions. Remember this before condemning someone.
- Feel emotions without becoming emotional; empathise without losing your objectivity. Beware of taking an extreme stance. Be ‘involved’ rather than ‘activistic.’
- A little less negative adds to a lot more positive in human relationships. For a start, let’s try to be a little more polite when we are angry, a little less self-absorbed when we are sad, a little more understanding when we are upset.
- Desist from self-delusion. Confront your emotions, recognize them for what they are and accept them before trying to work your way to becoming a better person.
- Unclutter the mind so that there’s room for better thoughts. (See post ‘The mess that’s the mind and meditation’ for a meditation technique that may appeal to you.)
- Neither be impervious nor over-sensitive to criticism. Respond to it with the right attitude and use the comments to chip away at your defects if there is merit in the criticism and the critic means well.
- It is not necessary to win every time. Choose your battles. Self-effacement is not a bad thing, sometimes.
- It’s not a crime to not know. Subterfuge saps energy. Admitting ignorance is the first step towards removing it.
- Don’t let the greed for more spoil your enjoyment of what you have – whether it is material wealth, mental prowess, physical attributes or anything else.
Of course, these ‘rules’ (for want of a better word) are not for chewing and digesting, but ruminating and reflecting. Do let me know what you think.