We humans are an unsatisfied lot. We covet the life that we see lived by others; rarely are we contented with what we have been blessed with! Be it our physical appearance, our mental or emotional strength, our social or financial standing – we are forever comparing ourselves with the Joneses. Forever trying to keep up with them, or emulating them, but hardly satisfied with what we have.
Oh, and how we love to judge others! We label people as if we were born perfect! Not for a moment do we empathise, or even try to imagine the battles they fight or the struggles they must face on a daily basis. That brings us to the next cardinal rule that we HAVE to remember always, always and always.
Don’t compare your life with others and don’t judge them, you have no idea what their journey is all about.
Haven’t we all been guilty of breaking this rule? Okay, we may be matured grown ups and all that, but don’t we secretly wish we owned that high-end vehicle that Mr. Ambani drives, or looked as pretty as that haughty lady in the next door apartment, or had talented kids like Mr. Sharma residing on the 22nd floor? We all do – it’s human nature, a manufacturing defect! But, we do have the capacity to mend our ways, don’t we?
When we compare ourselves, or yearn for the things others may have been blessed with, do we wish for the problems those others might be facing? For all you know, that haughty and pretty lady might be getting beaten up by her husband, or the child prodigy that Mrs. Sharma gave birth to, might be an uncommunicative, reserved child living in a shell. Would you swap places with them if you learnt about these bitter facts of their lives?
Years ago, when I was working, I learnt how a colleague had labelled me “a closed book”. I did not mingle with my colleagues much, and even if I did, I never disclosed my family matters to them, like the others did. I share such intimate stuff only with my closest friend. I disliked supplying my colleagues with any fodder for gossip and so I became that closed book.
Not once did they think that I may be fighting battles I would rather not talk about. For that matter, not once do we all think that the people we label ‘snooty’ or ‘reserved’ or ‘misanthropes’ may actually be going through some terrible times and they would rather keep to themselves. All we do know, is to put a label on them, their characters, their demeanours and call them names.
Every human being put on this earth lives a life unlike the others. It may appear to be a happy and a ‘blessed’ life, but in reality, it may be fraught with hardships. Well, every life is! We are all sailing in the same boat, why judge the others for how they lead their lives? Why not just let them be? And, why cry that the grass is greener on the other side? Try climbing over the fence and stepping on that grass; it might not even be real! Then why are so stupid to get swayed by appearances?
You know, writing about these rules on a daily basis seems to be having a profound effect on my psyche. I wish I had done it earlier, I wouldn’t have been such a mess! But then, who isn’t? A mess, I mean. And, that’s why these rules! So, the next time you cast your eyes on that pretty lady or that Mrs. Sharma with the gifted child, just say a “hello” and move on. Your life is much better!