Happiness isn’t the goal, it’s the currency; not to be earned, but generated through the everydayness of living.
As I move less and carry more, longevity has started to come more in focus. E.g with relationships, I’ve learned what forms them isn’t what sustains them. Where excitement, appreciation and attention may help you form the bond; anger, hurt and unhappiness is where their sustainability lies. Dealing with troubles kindly is the key. Not straining in difficult times and keeping judgement out are what give it length. Because if you are generally happy people (like most are), the good parts take care of themselves.
While living in different cultures may lead some to confusion and some to abandonment, if experienced properly, it can lead to wisdom not generally available to either. Each new culture will entice you with its freedoms and with its comforts in excuses. The only thing to keep in mind, is to not loose yourself to them. Instead, if you are able to see past these and peer into the responsibility they imply, you’ll be able to see the beauty of generations of wisdom that lead them there. Take it, absorb those ideas and stand proud for learning the best of both.
Increasingly I realize that there are two basic underlying sources to much of human thoughts and behaviors. Those that stem from rigidness (habits discipline, preferences etc.) I call dark patterns, and those that stem from openness (empathy, flow, flexibility etc.), light. Many are naturally inclined towards one and it shapes much of their thoughts, actions and outcomes. Through life we constantly try to improve ourselves by focussing on specific traits like extroversion vs. introversion, or saying yes more than no. But it may be more prudent to focus on the source of these behaviors in others and ourself rather then the manifestations to perfect the mix and not the symptoms. In an idealist’s world, I would advocate for total light patterns but being effective in reality demands a basic structure of rigidness and dark patterns to hold the light. The pattern of your structure will be unique to you but the goal should be to have the least amount of rigidness that can sustain the openness. I hope to always keep openness to full; sprinkle in rigidness as needed and crush the bad parts of both light and dark the moment they appear.
It’s all of them – fear, sadness, confusion, hurt, joy, contentment; all the unexpected patterns, all the chaos. Working to avoid one will dim all the others. The goal is the journey, the reason is us… and above all else, happiness is an obligation.
If you observe gender roles in the South Asian cultures (but maybe the greater world as well), you will quickly realize that all the social pressures, expectations, encouragements & transgressions are linked to two very simple underlying ideas. Women are responsible for protecting ‘face’ and men are responsible for increasing it. It’s on these ideas that we judge, teach and raise our generations. How they dress, behave and model themselves are directly related to these ‘responsibilities’. Men are casually forgiven transgressions of disgrace, while women are allowed lives of minimal contribution. One is pressured to be proper, while the other to perform. And although each might be equally incomplete, the pressure for protection curbs the ability to perform more than the opposite. And if you think hard enough, you will realize that it’s not the boys that need to be taught how to respect girls as much as it’s the parents who need to learn how to raise them both. Teach girls to make you proud & boys to not be the reason for disgrace – and then hold them both to it. Teaching responsibility correctly will lead to respect, doing the opposite isn’t working fast enough.
It gives me comfort, that my strong ability to self-delude is matched only by my inability to think well. This way, I am easily derailed from living in my right by the obvious flaws in my ideas.
Human life is a fickle balance. We are beings of contradiction and of disproportionate capacities. We have the ability to see the future, but not enough to give us comfort; the gift of understanding, but not knowing for certain; and a life with a million possibilities, without any rhyme or reason to what is enough and why at all?!!
There is no good or evil, only the most productive option. Justice is the manifestation of that, and the best way to reach justice is to temper it with wisdom. You have to find the closest answer to the truth, the most extreme form of justice you can find and then find the highest point on the line that everyone is ready to accept. Pushing everyone to their limit of justice is great leadership; everything over, alienation; and everything under mediocrity. Judge the leader of yesterday by how close to the mental limit they pushed their people, not by your highest current ambition. What someone did not do right is easier to point out, there are always infinite answers, but that is why its not helpful in measuring greatness. The only thing you can measure is what they achieved compared to the highest level of enlightenment their people were ready to accept. Only in this can we find appreciation for what wisdom truly is.
Every right leads to a responsibility. The battle is to get the right acknowledged; the war is to generate the responsibility that right imposes. We fight for the right, but then take a break immediately after. We say that the world has changed forever, and yet, we still get up the same way tomorrow? Have we not the foresight to see the problem.
It takes hundreds and hundreds of years for a change in policy to reflect a change in behavior. We write documents of law, but no manuals for life. We have democracy, but have yet to find a out how to use it responsibly. We have no slavery, and yet entire races a trapped in their own inability to discard the effects of the past. We have gender-equality, and yet we cannot raise our girls so they are equally valuable.
When you ask for the right, think of the responsibility. When you don’t, you create a bigger problem… more pernicious & harder to see. How can you make your vote valuable? Your race valuable? Your gender valuable? How can we help them get to the point where their right is truly valuable; So we can’t just buy it on a whim!
This millennium is the last. In a world of complexity the answers are just painfully simple. While you work to move away, work too to find yourself in the here. Never again will you stand in your origins. Never again will you know your family. Never again, will you meet the maker. The force that drives. The force that so simply explains the why. the force you see now around you, the soul of who you are. Never again will you meet it. Walk up to it today, acknowledge it, understand it’s intent. Never again, will you be so close to the source.
Go out sometimes. Go out and touch a tree, smell the rain, eat a leaf, feel the flowers. Go out on grass. Go and find yourself among family.
Life moves in circles, like waves crashing in to each other forming infinity. The world is only but a mirage, formed with you at it’s center… and wherever you stop looking, it stops existing.
It is unfortunate that the wealthiest place on the planet is the graveyard. For in the graveyard we will find inventions that never were; ideas that still remain; and dreams that were never acted upon.
There is no good or evil. There is only truth. The closer to truth something is, the easier it is to see it as good. This however, does not stop us from making something good even of it is far far away. To judge something as bad is a flawed concept! You cannot punish the murderer or the thief. It was not their choice to be born in a world where they were the nth child. Statistics shows no mercy.
But then again, you cannot punish the bithers and raisers either…. They weren’t smart enough to see the truth in the first place.
There is no evil. Misery cannot bring serenity. A false action sows no benefit.
For girls, gaining value through appearance has instant returns… but in a twisted way of fate, this short-cut becomes the very reason they experience unappreciaton. Because in the long run, the newness erodes the inflated effect of appearance, and the newness of ‘others’ increases theirs. So the only way to keep respect is to use the inflated control they have over guys when they are new, to re-enforce the value of their personality not appearance. That is really the only sustainable competitive advantage any one of us can hold. Appearance is easier to rate and inflates the value of the ‘new’ one, especially if the judge is a guy (blame biology). Personality is too complex to rate on a glimpse and gives advantage to the known over the unknown.