Monday, March 25, 2013

Glass Half-Full Half-Empty Conundrum

I'd read a beautiful piece in 'The Speaking Tree' about "Glass Half full-Half empty". There are many perspectives about it. How an optimist would perceive it, how a pessimist would see it. How would a mathematician see it, how would a scientist see it. A philosopher, a monk, a commerce student, an economics champ, a literature guy and many such different observers. 

Ultimately, the write up emphasizes, that the glass is neither half full, nor half empty or any of the things claimed by all the observers. The glass simply is. The learned, who has gained the mastery over life, would put it this way.

It was a very nice piece with such a subtle meaning. I must have read it many times to allow it to sink in, and I believe it has sunk in pretty deep. We, as human being, are always perceiving objects, human beings, incidences, situations and at times, life too. That's how we develop a perspective. Or a philosophy.

This philosophy is dangerous. Because it lays the foundation of something called as judgement. We start judging. In our own pious, intelligent and clear way. We intend nothing bad, but we judge nonetheless. Something that is acceptable by a majority is perhaps the right thing. Speaking truth is the right thing. Being selfless is the right thing. There are many tenets laid for references for the coming generations.

But imagine, how life was when it first began. It knew nothing about any of these tenets. The first man and the first woman, knew nothing about what is good and what is bad. They had no clue that they had to become responsible human beings. They knew nothing about the morals or ethics. They simply were. They existed. They discovered things and eventually lived their spans. No one had told them how to live. No one had guided them with the rights and the wrongs. They were righteously bestowed with a power of discretion and free will and they made their lives out of it.

The need of power hence made way to the rights and wrongs that we have today. And so the society was created. If every human being were to be seen as and the way they were, without judging them, imagine what beautiful life would be. The society would be chaotic, nonetheless. But it isn't any less now, despite tons of morals and ethics being in place. I am not against morals and ethics being established. At a point of time, I enforced the importance of morals and ethics too. I still do, in different references. But the beauty of a life is letting it be the way it is. Letting it develop the way it is meant to, by grasping anything everything that surrounds it. By not empowering it with anything but free will to explore and survive. By not judging it and laying a perception. Perceptive societies label that very glass as half full or half empty. In turn those groups in society are hence labelled optimists or pessimists. Is it really necessary to call something like that? Do we need to have a label for everything? Single, married, gay, straight, thin, fat, short, tall, criminal, saint, beautiful, ugly?

But if we were to let things be the way they are without labelling them, then we are being the core. What we are indeed meant to be. Humans. Imperfect in a perfect way! 

For example, one elder sister say, Reena, thinks her brother Rohan is very laid back. She thinks, her brother could do much better with his life. He could take up his studies seriously, he can pursue his hobby, can play some sport and make a life out any of his talents. She pushes Rohan everyday to do something lucrative, constructive. Rohan is not sure about what he wants to do. 

He wants to try his hand at things he thinks he is good at. But the pressure of his relatives, and constant care and guidance by his sister puts  him in a situation where he starts judging 

himself. He gives up his attempts to explore possibilities. He wonders why doesn't he have the clarity about his career, his life. He feels his education is useless. He feels whatever he is 
studying will be of  no use. He feels the marks are nothing but means of scoring a position in a firm with some monthly salary. This doesn't drive him. He may do it for some days, but then he feels the need to move out. He loses interest and whenever he wanders, he finds his sister telling him what to do and what not to. Sometimes he has his parents emotionally blackmailing him for not being responsible. 

He is labelled as a careless person who doesn't have an aim in life. He is rendered useless by his girlfriend. Eventually even if he marries, and has a wife and kids, they look down upon him for being laid back. He is perceived as someone who has no seriousness in life. He should ideally be going to work, earning a living, taking care of his health by playing sports, going to the gym, losing weight and so much more. He is expected to behave well with relatives, socialize more, quit smoking, not hang out with bad company and do what his wife and family demands. 

Most of you may relate to this situation. It may differ. But it's similar nonetheless. Could we ever escape expectations. Is there anyone out there, who says, no one expects anything from me, and I am taken the way I am without being labelled. Is there anyone out there who simply IS. Neither half full, nor half empty?

Parents think it's important to teach kids a way to behave. They think it is important to teach them what is right and what is wrong. They teach them to say thank you, they teach them to say sorry, please,excuse me. They teach them to act in a certain way in public, so that they grow up to be labelled as "well mannered", "sophisticated" , "kind". "Mr.X's son is so well behaved!" What does that give you? Pride? A sense of achievement by manipulating another life?

Well, what if a parent simply lets a kid grow - Without teaching it anything, allowing it to grasp whatever it sees. So that whatever it does, is a true reflection of what is going on in  his heart and mind without putting up a pretense. Instead of teaching kids, why don't the parents do things themselves and let the kids observe and learn. Why would the kid learn to say "thank you" if he's never seen his parents thank anyone? 

If a person is allowed to simply be, what he/she is, the society will be a much better place. Schools are shoving perceptions down the throats of young children. They don't have a mind of their own. If the child grasps the perception correctly then he is a "clever" kid, and one who doesn't is a "dumb" kid. Is this judgement correct? Is it necessary?

Just let people be. Whatever they are. However they are. Just let yourself be. The way you are. It's no point trying to prove oneself to anyone. There is no point in trying to be someone who the society would look up to. Judging is as wrong as calling a day, night. 

Despite what's in the glass, sans the water, respect the glass, for holding what it does. The content in it can change with time. But glass will always be the same. 

YOU ARE! I respect that. And I am. I simply AM. Respect me!

That's what we ever need to know about ourselves. Nothing more!


PS: The article about the Glass - Half full Half empty (from the speaking tree) is not available on the net. I'll publish the article as it is in my next post! This post was just my view after reading the article.