Thursday, March 13, 2014

Were you always this way?

You meet a person in a given situation and you see an aspect of them under those peculiar circumstances. It is then so easy to decide that this person is just what they appear to be to you, just exactly that... no more, no less.  They may appear kind and loving or calm and balanced or bitterly sarcastic or mind-numbingly boring or brilliant or modest or so on and so forth... ad infinitum. But you choose a set of characteristics and you apply them to said individual and that is it! But you forget, that these same people may be seen differently by others. They may actually be different with others. You may be missing out on the inner turmoil of a silent, apparently calm person. You may be missing out on someone's creativity just because your experience of them has been of the mundane. Or perhaps, you never expected them to be creative. So you never ventured to explore those aspects. You may never touch upon the seething resentment within the soul of a person who appears carefree. Or the deep-rooted romantic within a person who is apparently always strong and unemotional.

And worst of all, you pass your judgement. And then you rest the case. You don't stop to take a second look, or even a third one. You miss out on so much! Someone you think you know really well may actually appear a stranger to you if you ever saw them through another person's eyes. Or even through your own eyes, but without the curtain of expectations and preconceived notions. Don't you find that, oftentimes, perceptions are coloured by expectations? Do you think that sometimes you tend to judge too quickly? As if it makes life simpler to categorize people into sub-sections in your mind? And then, don't you lose out on the rich diversity that even that one person has to offer you? It is not easy to keep an open mind, to be non-judgemental. It means that you have to let go of your sense of self-importance. You have to step down from the pedestal that you placed yourself on. The one from where you gave yourself the right to pass judgement about others. To say that someone is mean, to say that another is an idiot, or someone else is selfish. Yes, everybody is flawed. And unluckily, perhaps, you have been exposed to all their unique flaws. But surely, each one of us is more than just the sum of our flaws? There is some good in every person. And sometimes, do you stop to think whether you bring out the worst in another person? Perhaps, they think the same about you? Perhaps... perhaps... perhaps.

If you just take the risk and decide to look at one other person in your life from a different perspective, you may discover a hidden poet or an angst-ridden soul or a hilariously wicked sense of humour that sends you into absolute fits of laughter. It takes a bit of trust. And some self-deprecation. Some letting go and some letting in. But its do-able. And then, even if you have just one friend, that friend may suddenly seem to be a different person. All the comfort of the known but flavoured with the excitement of the new. If only we were so brave...

2 comments:

Madhuja said...

Hey Mukta...this is simply wonderful. In some parts, it's almost like you took my words away! :)
But then, one thing that I feel is that in addition to accepting that there may be more to a person beyond our own judgement, it's equally important to accept that every human being has multiple dimensions. These are visible selectively to different people and in specific situations. So the original judgement may be equally true as the alternative one!

cybersuneel said...

That is true not just for people that we come across... The same holds for situations, objects or whatever that our consciousness tries to comprehend. The ability to see things with absolute clarity, with a vision that is not obscured by our notions, beliefs and prejudices, that needs a mind as calm as a mind can be! It is do-able, yes, but it is not very easy. In the same breath, perhaps, it is not too hard either! Perhaps, as you say, we just have to let go of our preconceived notions of our selves...