Sunday, September 22, 2013

Is Being Good....Good Enough!!!!

There was a HR Summit I attended just last Friday. During one of the panel discussions the speaker mentioned about a book called  “Difficulty of being good” by Gurcharan Das.  Of Course! I have ordered for one and waiting to get into my hands.    
But keeping that apart I was contemplating on the title while driving back - DIFFICULTY OF BEING GOOD
As a child I was taught to be good. My parents always emphasized on being disciplined, accomplish, being nice to others, responsible, listening to elders and all that you can name as merits of being ranked as good kid. I always thought that was the world out there which expects you to be ‘good & nice’. Good and nice as per the external world, its demands and expectations.

I grew up with all that noble thoughts of ‘Being Good’.  I did all that which makes people around me feel proud of me. 
Today, when I sit back and ponder on difficulties I have faced of being good – layer by layer I could excavate the life’s hardships of striving to hold that fame. When I reflect on that today, all I feel is probably my parents should have taught me thin line difference between ‘being good’ and ‘tolerating’.
Difficulty of being good is that, people expect you to be constant and consistent with the label all the time. Yet! It was your own setting of that expectation that you will strive to keep up your set identity and always want to be branded and named under being called good.
I was never taught to ‘Say No’. I was never told the definition of ‘what exactly is tolerating’ and how to overcome that. There by, there would have been many occasions of being controlled indirectly, being told what to do, being advised under various markers, painting nice pictures of what is right.
By compelling myself to be good, I have borne dis-respect & loss, I have experienced where people have taken me for granted, I have faced hardships, suffered pain and hurt. When I self-introspect today, I confidently say, ‘Being good’ is nice. But, being good to oneself is fair.
Compromise is courteous, but compromise to what degree!
Forcing one-self for a cause is kind enough, but forcing to what level!
Driving things is wonderful, but ‘Is driving wearing a mask of pushing’!
Self-Imposition with principles is appealing, but is principles in disguise of limitations!
Being remarkable is brilliant, but in the play, are our actions impression-building and striving to keep up the same.
Accomplishments are inspiring, but life does not end if we fail in one of the phase.
Being a role-model is amazing, but counterfeiting grey matters does not help remain in that stature

BE GOOD TO ONESELF is equally important along with being good to others. 
I feel - at the end of the episode of life, we are required to answer for our own conscience. When we look back at the life’s pathway, all it matters is the quality of happiness you felt within
You tend to spread happiness to the outer world only when you are happy within. You cannot spread happiness when you are feeling miserable within.
You cannot display enthusiasm when you are feeling apathetic internally
You cannot be motivating when you are hopeless.

There are certainly difficulties of being good, probably we are at peace when we segregate it when being good to self and others, then we draw a line between acceptance and tolerance.

This reminds me of few lines of paradoxical commandments – A pragmatic irony of life.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.  Build anyway.
We are here to hear others and listen to ourselves. Seek suggestions and take decisions. This reminds me a popular Bruce Lee’s quote - I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
Probably, living life to our own expectations leads to harmony and that harmony should be congruent with our thoughts, words and deeds. Is Being good….. good enough!!!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others!

From last 48 hours I have been HEARING music continuously. Sounds crazy!!!
Is Music heard or listened!!!  Obviously, it’s listened and enjoyed. But, let me reiterate I am hearing it just like any other noise around.
 That’s where I draw my inference that we are at the nth level of sensitivity. We call ourselves as sensitive to others. Being considerate, thoughtful, sympathetic is all what we were taught since childhood. But, I question myself – Do we really realize its significance and adapt one!!
What made me to write all this?
Since last two days, there is a Ganesha idol and its festival being arranged adjacent to my place. Since its beginning until now, the music is on starting from 6am to 10pm. CONTINUOSLY!!!! I don’t know how many decibels is the sound, but it is heard all through the area. It wakes me up in the morning and never lets me concentrate on anything entire day.
Just give a thought for a minute – How many old people are around who need rest and silence! Children have their mid-term exams at this time of the year and they are required to study.
Celebrating festival isn’t pompous. No god seeks flaunting music all the time. It makes me think that, if at all Ganesha is required to listen to this entire day, how he would feel??? Or is it for people to listen to bhajans all the time as a feel good factor. The reality is we can’t concentrate entire day and be in the same mode. This is the time where MUSIC turns to NOISE. All that they play becomes an attention seeker and nothing more. Think about it!!
To add to this – the entire road is lit with colorful lights and I saw that the power line was drawn from a local electrical pole. Who should be held responsible for this?

This is not yet it! To have this grand swindle in the name of festival and celebration, local shopkeepers are forced to pay money for this whole spectacle. And we PRAY GOD to make us good and the way we celebrate the entire event is by creating problems to all around, by illegal practices. We aren’t even sensitive in hospital zones as well. It’s the same set of scenes that reappears there.
This is just not it!!

The same history repeats for any local hero’s birthday, any temple anniversary, Diwali festive time and its crackers and so on. The 
crackers are lit until midnight. Even pets fear to get out of their abode during these times because of the noise.


Why aren’t we sensitive that we all co-exist and the practices we adapt does create trouble & nuisance to others. Is it not a simple common sense! Cant any celebration happen without noise.!!!
Why do we need an overstated showy things attached to celebration! Cant celebration be confined to specific time when in public. Can’t there be a law on respecting people, and their privacy.
When I contemplate on these lines – series of absurd behavior we display flashes my mind. Our manners in bus-stops when bus arrives, when in traffic congestion, on roads while driving – In how many occasions we are so insensitive to others. Unconcerned and indifferent while using public property. Spitting, littering, breaking rules are all ‘cool factors’ for us. Else, an intelligent ignorance cog saying ‘A single hand can’t move a mountain’ and add to the same hitch leading to having no difference from others and you. 
When do we learn being sensitive to the things around and also others. The entire elementary education revolves around morality, ethics and value education and keeps teaching that ‘Be considerate’ to others. Cruel reality is that- what we preach and teach is not what we practice.

What does it take to be considerate!
What does it take to be more refined!
What does it take to be matured and adoptable!

Probably the day we can crack this secret, is the day mankind takes an indomitable immense leap.