By Anujeet Paul
2020: Penning down some thoughts as this rather odd year is only half done.
Each one of us battles two things constantly – a feeling of self-preservation and the tendency to self-destruct. The feeling of negativity is quite tempting and reason is quite easy – negativity is simple.
Self-preservation demands effort. It asks for a promise – of positivity, of kindness, of generosity, of compassion. So is this positivity worth the headache?
Surprisingly, we have always been told, the more effort we put in, the more we’ll get out of life. But of course this isn’t always true. Take falling asleep for example. You can prepare in the right way, put yourself in the right position, and get yourself comfortable. But even after all that you can’t force it to happen. In fact it works exactly the other way around. The harder you try, the less sleepy you become. It’s only when you stop trying that you finally let go, you drift off.
Often the solution to striking a balance between a ticking time bomb of self-destruction and a joyful bundle of self-preservation is effort vs. result. A nice metaphor for this would be taming a wild horse. If you observe how a wild horse is tamed, rather than pinning it down in one place, the horse is let out on a very long run in a big open space, maybe an open field. The horse runs around thinking he’s got all the open space in the world. But very slowly a rope tied to the horse is brought in, and the horse adjusts to this feeling until he comes to a natural place of rest. The mind is quite similar and we should always try to bring it to a natural place of rest.
So why not make it an exercise, to try to let go of any idea of need, trying to achieve something or getting somewhere and instead, enjoy the opportunity to sit back, relax and be positively present in the world.
Because your worth is not just measured by your material achievements but also how content you are with yourself and the world.
How’s that for a mid-year thought?
Photographs by Soumyadipta Kundu