There will always be things beyond you and there will always be things left undone. There’s little you could do about it. Just breathe deep and allow yourself to accept it as part of a complicated universe. Be at peace, deep inside.
Life has no meaning. The universe owes you nothing. We come. We go. That’s it. We simply can’t deal with it and keep running endlessly.
Unfortunately or fortunately, we’ve been blessed with a “thinking” brain. One that adds meaning to where none need exist.
We have to explain things or else our brains will go mad. So, we explain! We create meaning to living, we create a god, we explain why we are here and why we should have a purpose. We create goals and once we reach there, we create some more.
We are not going to arrive at answers by questioning more. Live in the moment, let life embrace you – and perhaps allow the questions to self-destruct.
Helpful criticism is primarily about making something better. Unhelpful criticism is about making oneself feel better or the other person feel worse.
As a parent, I feel this is not given enough attention to. Self-esteem. And how it is different from self-confidence.
A lot of people can rank high on self-confidence, yet be deeply insecure inside. They may feel worthy and driven when they achieve. The minute they step out of the treadmill of achieving, they suddenly feel inadequate.
This behaviour is highest in my entrepreneurs circle, but other performance oriented circles are no less different. Driven, highly ambitious and insecure – that’s the concoction. The insecurity is often seen as a motivator.
Yet, it is that very group of motivated, driven folk that succumbs to depression, suicide (V G Siddhartha of CCD is one example) and self-ruin.
They are all products of an environment blissfully unaware of healthy self-esteem. An environment that is obsessed in measuring in comparison to others, immersed in winning and seeped in the “opinion of others”.
As a parent, my job is to ditch all that and to accept my kid as she is, with all her imperfections intact. And to teach her to accept herself as she is – without judgments or comparisons.
What is the role of parents in the education of kids?
To me, as a parent, my role (and that of the school) is to:
– help the child learn acceptance of who he/she really is and to get comfortable with himself/herself
– help the child be independent
– encourage the child to pursue her/his own enthusiasm without corrupting it with our prejudiced ideas
– encourage effort, not push for results. Work in itself is the reward, result is a by-product.
– help the child build a sense of inner-worthiness that is not tied to social status, job, money, rank, etc
However, all said and done, not everything is in our hands. We are merely facilitators, not enforcers. We need to learn to let go and trust the child to follow her/his own path and make her/his own life – whatever that is.
What is our real ‘self’?
Are all of us, at a deeper level, just a blob of flesh accompanied by a recorder (brain)?
A recorder that is blank as we are born. Such blankness, one that is devoid of contortions of others’ (and even our own) opinions of ourselves? That state of innocence, the one we see in babies – is that our true ‘self’?
Today, I read an inspiring article on Hana Mohan.
I have met her only a couple of times (when I knew her as Prateek) and do not know much about her beyond her blog. I read about her decision to embrace her true self last year and my admiration for her went up multifold, especially because that is one area where I had become ambiguous myself.Continue reading
Several times in life, I’ve sat at the wrong table and waited for things to get better. A wrong job, a bad investment, a bad industry… to list a few. Talk about table selection and I’ve made all mistakes one could!
2 years in a job I hated. 3 years with a significant investment I wasn’t sure about. 2 years in an industry that I knew would take me nowhere.
Nothing really happened!
She invades your personal space like no one else can. Yet, you don’t mind it.
She shares her fear of monsters and expects you to slay them. You hug her hard, for you were responsible in bringing her to this big bad world!
Her world is filled with good rabbits and bad wolves. Beanstalks that grow to the sky and ogres taller than trees.
And princesses locked up in castles!
It hurts you no end that the rescuer is always a prince in shiny armour. Not daddy!
There’s only one man in her life. Daddy. You think, wishfully.
One day, she will be out seeking a new man of her choice. You have to let go!
Relationships are hard and messy. Yet, being a daddy to your little girl is special. You’ll do it again without batting an eyelid.
Every Sunday, I visit her at a long term care home.
Looking into her eyes, sometimes, it feels like looking into a deep well that leads to nothingness!
That is not how I know her!
I know her as a strong minded single lady who became the 2nd woman Tahsildar in Ooty. As the kind aunt who pampered me a lot – those expensive lunches (for those days) at Shinkows and Spencers in Ooty and outrageously priced toys at Chellarams and Mohans! The warmth of her love and affection above it all!
Or, frustratingly, as the lady who picked battles that didn’t make sense (to me) – like spending all her savings on a 40 year case that went nowhere. There were a lot of things we didn’t see eye to eye on, and quarrelled often for. Yet, we had a strong bonding.
She was always very involved. She gave it all. Once she was in, she was all-in. No half-measures! People were bad or good, things were right or wrong. Black or white, grey didn’t exist.
On November 25th, she was found unconscious and was rushed to hospital. A massive stroke left her motionless on one side of her body and more importantly, robbed her off her emotions.
Those very emotions that I have come to see as my aunt – having largely accepted her flaws as time has passed. I miss those.
It feels strange. She is alive. Yet, I miss her. I miss those emotions – those fights, those warm weekly calls, those arguments on yet another lawyer bill.
The last 3 months have been stressful, but time heals everything. I am now thankful that we had our moments. I don’t pray for anything – I can embrace anything. If she disappears into oblivion never recovering from her state, she will be just fine. I will be too. If she recovers and embraces me with all her being, that is fine too. Things can get bad, painful and sorrowful – that is fine too! Or better, that too, is fine!
Anything is fine. These two months, I have learned to remove expectations. That helps!
At the risk of misinterpretation by someone, I quote my opinion on life.
“To pass through this brief life as nature demands. To give it up without complaint.
Like an olive that ripens and falls.”
– Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)