Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Am A Hypocrite, By Choice - Part 1

“ Sai, I am the sort of a person, if I do not like something about someone, I tell it right on their face. I cannot be some person on the inside and someone else on the outside. That’s being hypocritic”, said one of my dearest friends during a very casual talk about an incident at his workplace.

Now, its been years since I had that talk with my friend and yet very strangely, those words had remained etched in my memory forever.

And no matter how hard I tried to bury them as just a casual talk, I never really could do it. And everyday, during the nagging time when my head hits the pillow but the sleep doesn’t hit the eye, I keep thinking and rethinking of the wisdom of those lines. And the more I think of them, the more I loose my sleep.

The loss of sleep is because my heart realizes that those words of my friend were also talking about the ‘real’ me. Infact, they were speaking about something I am not. They innately and pokingly reminded me of my ability to be some person on the inside and someone else on the outside. In short, they keep reminding me that, unlike my true friend, I AM A TOTAL HYPOCRITE.

Friends, I guess time and again in life, we come across situations and more importantly people in those situations, with whom we have a difference of opinion, difference of thoughts, difference of ideologies, difference of approach, difference of attitude, difference of culture or difference of even character.

And all along my life, I have met only two kinds of people with regard to those situations.

One kind being those who take the differences above, talk it out straight and try their very best to set right the differences. Those people are labelled as the ones who are frank, straightforward and no nonsense types when the differences are properly settled eventually. But God forbid, if the differences aren’t properly settled and if there comes no compromise solution leaving the issue contentious on forever, the very same people are labelled as ones with ‘attitude’, as people who are fussy and as trouble making people who give a damn to what others have to say.

And for the same situation, the second kind of people are those who choose to live with the differences rather than actually solving them ! They tend to take the difference in their stride and see if they can appreciate it throughout life. In short, they try and see if they can unwillingly put up the differences or even ignore it for good. And if they come out in this task successfully, they are called as simple, noble people, as diplomats, as people who see the larger picture or as people who live for the greater good. And God forbid again, if they fail to put up living with the differences and eventually burst out someday to become the first kind of persons, they are labelled as actors, back stabbers and worse as hypocrites.

And now, given the knowledge of the above, for years now, I have been left wondering as to what kind of a person should I be ? Should I be someone who is frank, straightforward and carries an attitude or Should I be someone who sees the larger picture, Someone who is for the greater good, is diplomatic and a hypocrite ?

The choice wasn’t easy. It certainly wasn’t. And strangely, it was a ‘choice’. It was a ‘choice’ of being something that I was not. It was a ‘choice’ of being someone that I did not want to be. I had made the ‘choice’.

Knowingly or unknowingly, I had decided to be someone who will live with the differences and appreciate them than express my other side. Wantedly or unwantedly, I had decided to be someone who will withhold the ‘immediate’ expression of my disagreement over any contentious issue. By choice, I decided to be a hyprocrite and give myself time to think of the differences, see the larger picture and greater good.

The question though now remains – Was my choice correct ? If yes, then why is that those words of my friend have left me sleepless for hundreds of nights now ! And also, how long should I be a hypocrite ?

- To be continued -

I Am A Hypocrite, By Choice - Part 2

It was about 2 in the night. I lay on my bed thinking of that very question for hours and hours. Was I right in being a hypocrite ? Was I doing the right thing by not expressing my anguish, dislike for something or someone ? Am I a good person by being a saint on the outside but a horribly ill feeling, fuming person on the inside ?

“Obviously you are not !” , said my mind. “You are not a good person Sai. If you really were to be good, then you should not be feeling bad about anything at all in the first place. No anger, badness or situation should hurt you. No one or no thing should make you feel anything apart from goodness or sweetness. And you yourself know that you are no such saint ! You do feel bad about a lot of things. You do feel bad about a lot of situations. You do feel anger at the ways certain things are dealt with. And so, with a really bad you, your choice of portraying yourself as good was and is absolutely wrong. Take my word Sai, your being a hyprocrite will only hurt you in the long run !” finished my mind.

The thought had hit me hard. I got up from my bed. It was going to be one of those sleepless nights again for sure. Looking for a glass of water, i turned on the table lamp. The cool, neat white light coming from it almost felt like moon light.

And as I picked up the glass to pour water into it from the jug near my cot, the table lamp’s white light fell on the glass forming beautiful rainbow colours on my hand.

“Dear, do you see it ?”, asked my heart.
“See what ?”, my mind said.
“The small little rainbow coming from the glass due to the table lamp’s light”, replied my heart.

I looked for it. Yes, there was a small but beautiful rainbow colours that had formed on my hand.

“Yes, I see it. So what now ? asked my mind a little authoritatively.
“Dear, I feel every human is like that rainbow in his/her heart.”, said my heart softly.
“Huh ? I didn’t understand you”, said my mind.

“Well dear, let us assume for a moment that each of the emotions I feel is expressed by a colour. For instance, let red denote anger, green denote envy, white denote peace and so on and so forth”, said my heart.

“Hmm.. So ?”, asked my mind.

“Well dear, assuming I say I am feeling white now, what would you infer ?”, asked my heart.

“Well, I would like to believe that you are feeling peaceful”, said my mind.

“That is very true. But then white in itself is a composite of 7 different colours. And although it is appearing neat, white and light on the outside, does it mean that it doesn’t have the darker colours of red, green and blue on the inside ?”, asked my heart.

“What are you trying to infer ?”, asked my mind.

“Well, I am not trying to infer anything. But then, I am trying to point out to you that although white appears neat, calm and peaceful on the outside, by your logic it really is hypocritic and a very very bad colour. Isn’t it ? That’s because its real colour is not really white. It contains the darker colours of red, green, blue on the inside which it never shows out”, said my heart.

“That’s stupidity ! Anyways, Can you come straight to the point please ?”, asked my mind with frustration.

“Well dear, like you said, many a times in life, we come across situations in life and more importantly people in those situations, with whom we have a difference of opinion, difference of thoughts, difference of ideologies, difference of approach, difference of attitude, difference of culture or difference of even character. The differences above make us go through and feel so many different emotions, mostly negative ones. And although it is human nature to feel and be affected those emotions, it is upto a priceless possession, the only possession which differentiates us from the rest of living systems on the planet, to determine whether or not we express those emotions out. It is upto that priceless possession to control and ensure we feel neat, calm and unaffected by the hard hitting emotions”

“Priceless possession controlling the emotions ? ! What is that ?”, asked my mind.

“ The priceless possession is you. You the mind”, replied my heart much to the surprise of myself.

“Huh ? Me ?”, asked my mind.

“Yes, you ! It is upto you and your intellect to decide whether or not to follow my ever changing emotions and express the same. That is what all your education is for. That is what all the scriptures are about. And that is what our elders, friends and people have always told us. To not let be carried away by our emotions”, said my heart.

“Hmm, go on”, said my mind.

“Dear, I - the heart, i am like a nuclear reactor. And my emotions whether it be love or hate are like an uncontrolled chain reaction. The situation or person is nothing more than the minimum required thorium to start off the reaction. And once the reaction starts, not even God can stop it from multiplying, no one can stop the energy from building. And if the negative, building up, unstoppable, ever increasing energy is let out, then it causes nothing but destruction. Hope you get the point.”

“Huh ? Energy causing destruction ?? !! The good, noble heart causing destruction ! The sweet heart of everyone ! You consider yourself an equivalent to a nuclear bomb ?? ”, asked my mind a little happy and a lot puzzled.

“You got me wrong. I said I am nuclear reactor and my emotions are like nuclear power. Now, it is upto you to decide what you make of the power from my emotions. You can use your intellect and channel me into a proper energy resource, utilizing it for multiple and good purposes or go ahead thoughtlessly, express it out and destroy others in the process”, replied my heart.

“Hold on ! By that logic, won’t I be destroying myself if I were to keep the energy within myself and keep building it up everytime I see the person or come across the same situation ?”, asked my mind.

“Well dear, that is where true strength, character, goodness and care for a fellow person is really defined. True goodness dear, is not about not feeling bad, but is about having the strength to face what is different and contradictory to you. True goodness lies in having the care to understand the differences, having the character to respect it, the intellect to give yourself the time for digesting it, apart from the vision to ignore it for the greater good and bigger picture. All the situations, persons whom you are not comfortable are nothing more than the minimum required thorium creating radically different emotions. And as weak humans we are bound to feel those emotions. And yet, as good humans we are also bound to ignore them and do what is right even if it means holding ourselves against ourselves. It is like building sheath of lead around your heart to remain unaffected by the building up nuclear power in yourself. You should prevent yourself and use your character to remain unaffected by the potentially destructive energy apart from overcoming it to use it for better and greater purposes”

“But, why should we become so complex when things can be expressed out and sorted out in a much, simpler, straight forward way ! And anyways, I guess the energy that you store within yourself will only explode some day or the other.. So, why not now immediately when things are much more simple and less dangeours ?”

“ If sorting is out only could have been as simple as you said ! As I said, you are dealing with emotions. And to use emotions for dealing with emotions is nothing but aiding the chain reaction dear. As you know, never in the history of mankind, has emotions solved any problems. They have only created decisions. Decisions which we force our intellect to follow. Decisions which we emotionally follow. But we never realise that from wars to peace talks, its only the intellect, work and actions that has resulted in problem solutions. That’s because the problem in itself was the emotion or rather the expression of the same”, said my heart.

“Hmm..” , said my mind.

“And as harsh, cunning and hypocritic it may sound, the best way to go ahead is to understand that to get emotional and feel bad is nothing but being human. But then to check the expression of those emotions and prevent a spill over from happening is what is the responsibility of a wise human. That is what all education is for. That is what all intellect is for. They are to help us decide which emotion to express, when to express, how to express, where to express and what to express. The which, when, how, where and what is primarily the time given to a fellow person as well as yourself to understand the situation and help it become better by mutual cooperation and self intellect, thought processes – not emotions. And if somewhere down the line, the time matures and emotions are expressed, you will be called a hyprocrite for delivering the emotions late and keeping it under wraps all these days. But then the delay in expression of it was for your own and the greater good. It means that you have given yourself as well as the other person and most importantly inconveniences a chance to correct by itself. And I for one passionately and totally believe that humans possess enough intellect to understand & correct themselves and their mistakes over time. Time, friendship, cooperation, love is all they need and for giving them that time, your being a hypocrite is a very very small price to pay” finished my heart.

“I would not still agree with you”, said my mind.

“Hmm, I know. It’s a life long battle Sai. And whether right or wrong, you have always followed me. This is just one more occasion. It is upto you to decide. But then unless you are fully convinced, be a hypocrite. Because years later people’s minds forget the words, the situations, the actions and the decisions you gave them. They will only and only remember forever how you made them feel for what they were.”, replied my heart.

I drank the water and turned off the lights to hit the pillow waiting for sleep.