Monday, July 02, 2012

Are these really my thoughts?

Have you ever stopped to think, how many of your thoughts are really your own? Okay, let's modify that question, make it a little simpler. How many of your opinions are really your own? And I mean all kinds of opinions. About stuff that seems inconsequential, everyday, mundane. About all the profound stuff that you discuss as a passionate, to-be-revolutionary youngster. All those philosophical discussions and movie/music/random gossip. Just about any and every thing.

I lived my life believing in my individuality. Doesn't every one of us believe at some point or other in our uniqueness? Have you not had that moment when you thought you were special? That you had thought of something, the germ of an idea, that was especially yours? Those times of divine unawareness about one's place in the scheme of things. Or rather a skewed image of one's exalted status. Delusional, yes. But definitely confidence-inspiring. Those were times when I could have had (and often did have) an opinion on any and every single thing. And off course, it was a well-informed, well-read, rational person's unbiased opinion. Did I mention delusional?

And then the day dawned when I realized that so many of the things I heard myself say were things that my parents had said, or my teachers had said, or my friends had said or... I would have said that it was an earthshaking moment. But that would be putting it mildly. It is awful to find that your very definition of yourself (and yes, your thoughts do define you) is shaky, murky, lost in the voices and opinions of others. It is shocking, that realization. But essential too. Especially if you mean to grow up some day. And well, not a lot of us have a choice about the growing up. Life tends to make you do so anyway.

Anyway, since that day on, I have learnt to question. It makes me a non-believer, until I have believable proof. It makes me long to have faith, yes, blind faith. But it also leaves me knowing that most of my thoughts are really my own. Sometimes, another's opinions slips through. But then, it is all about living and learning. You see, so much of our childhood passes in trying to be like someone else that many of us never learn to be ourselves. I have decided to learn to be myself. The best myself I can be :)


Princess said...
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Princess said...

I have been going through a very similar phase. What you call non-believer, I call cynic! Same thing basically.. Yes many times I feel, seeking the faith in something is so much easier, a simple way out; then it takes some doing to pull back into the cynic path..


Suneel Madhekar said...

Isn't the meme, and its propensity to propagate, the very basis of evolution of human culture? I don't think we can avoid being influenced by thoughts around us. There is nothing wrong in ingraining thoughts that are oriented towards the good path. But one must make a distinction between what is good, and what is not, however imperfect or unfavorable the conditions might be to make such a distinction. It is the manner in which we make such distinction, the courage with which we make such distinction, that is what determines our individuality...

Manasi said...

I was also reminded of an external idea can make its way so that you almost feel that it is your own :(

Madhuja said...

A very nice thought, Mukta! :)

I would say...Just like perception, our thoughts and opinions are also shaped by external influences. It is only natural that we need the raw material from different sources. As long as we do not blindly 'believe' or 'follow', the product of assimilation remains our very own...unique and individual, molded by our experiences and personalities.