Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Since childhood days I have been told that obedience is a virtue but, I am now convinced that it’s rather an arrangement which makes things easier for the adults. Nothing wrong in making things easy for yourself but, the side effect is that the child looses his/her identity. Also, when he/she tries to regain the identity, he/she gets easily labeled as a rebellion. It’s a habit for the child as well as parents. Even now, if I don’t obey my mother, not only my mother, but I also feel something unusual J.

I feel real pain when I see people around me forcing children to obey them. To get rid of this pain, I try to trigger discussions on what are the long term effects of this method but, people are usually close minded. For some of these subjects, our minds have been programmed in certain way for ages and people are unknowingly ensuring that they program their next generation in the same way. Let me admit that till 3-4 years back, me and Namrata were also programmed in the same way and what looks most intuitive and obvious now, the opposite was obvious and intuitive then. Obedience used to be a virtue for us also.

Learning and Pain

Learning often comes through pain, the pain of facing the consequences or the pain of hard to answer questions, etc. In these cases, the pain serves as a trigger. What happens if someone gives you a pain killer or tries to prevent you from the pain? Doesn’t he/she prevent you from the learning as well? Secondly, can someone else experience that pain and make you learn?

Say we are talking about reaching school in time. One way could be that you reach late and face the consequences. The consequences give you ‘enough’ pain to start thinking what can I do differently to reach in time. Other way is that someone else is constantly worried about you reaching in time and keeps showing you the consequences while the intention is to ‘protect’ you from the consequences. We may get desired results in this method as well but, there YOUR goal is not to reach in time but, to keep that someone else satisfied. You always need that someone else for reaching in time. What’s your learning?

If you reach late to school one day, you get another chance the next day. What if you don’t get another chance? This is a standard debate. Is it fine to always let people face the consequences (and experience the pain)? What if the consequences are irreparable? Is there anything irreparable in our life? In the first place, what is a damaging consequence which needs repair? We usually treat the consequences which give unhappiness as damaging. But, do you really become happy for whole life by facing the seemingly non damaging consequences?

I have seen immense recovery power in life. I believe there is nothing irreparable but, I say this intellectually. In practice, I have often seen this belief shaking. I want to know what others feel.

What we want?

One of my friends asked me: Do we really know in true sense as to …..what do we really want in life?”

I think we always know what we want in life. It’s only that after getting ‘that’, we usually conclude that that’s not what we wanted. Some people conclude it fast, some take time. I believe that after travelling from one dream to another, some dream would be the final one. I also believe for the same reason that we have to keep taking chances with the assumption that this dream is the final one.

When we ask this common question: ‘do we know what we want’, we tend to lose the motivation to act. We extrapolate from our past experience and assume that what we want to do now is also not what I ‘really’ want. I believe here that imagination or someone else’s experience is not the right replacement for one’s own experience. If I now want to setup cooperatives in some village and I happen to meet someone who has already done it, it’s very likely that he/she says that I started with similar dream and succeeded in setting it up but, I didn’t get the happiness I had imagined. I faced the same politics, same conflicts, same behavioural issues, etc. If I decide to not act on what I want, I am depriving myself from that experience and hence, the learning.

I imagine that the goal of everyone’s life is to have a variety of experiences. This variety may vary from one person to other based on his/her circumstances and temporary wants but, will finally lead to the same place. So, the way to go is to follow our ‘temporary wants’ with the preparation that this could be temporary (or this could also be the last one).