Saturday, September 14, 2013
Browsing through the shelves across book stores I see so many of them on survival tips and techniques under various labels – Motivation; Psychology etc. The so called “self-help” books. The market size for consumption of these books is nothing less than enormous. The content of these books - impressive. The appetite of the people for reading such books is monstrous. To be honest I have read more than a couple myself. On first read they are awe-inspiring and we are overwhelmed by the feeling that “Of course, I know this and can do this”. They enthuse us to move and create survival techniques of our own. Eventually with the passage of time or publication of new best seller on survival techniques and tools they fade away and we are back in the same rut. But my fundamental disconnect with this genre is to do with the word – survival. Survival is primitive. Survival is strain.
Why survival? We are born to live and die (when the living stops). So why bring in this negative connotation to such a positive experience called life? Survival appears to connote fight, struggle and ultimately over-coming a feeling which attempts to hold us down. Under all circumstances we seem to be fighting something. All these acts are energy exhausting and not conserving. Living is all about preserving that positive energy for best use not exhausting them.
When we are kids everything is so simple and life is about here and now. “I did not get that toffee or he has taken my pencil or miss, she is teasing me or ma please let me go outside and play…etc”. There is no tomorrow to be thought for or to be planned. There is no care for a day called tomorrow.
Children don’t buy that promise of tomorrow either, mind it. If I have to buy a toy - it has to be now. If I want to eat an ice-cream - it has to be now. If I want to play with my friends - it has to be now. If I want to wear a particular dress - it has to be now. If I want to watch the cartoon - it has to be now. Whatever is to be accomplished it is all within the time frame of a day called - today. Not tomorrow - the word doesn’t exist in their dictionary. If you look closely all these small acts through the day is about living and experiencing now unlike struggle for survival for tomorrow. I have seen this in kids – rich; poor; smart; not-so-smart; privileged; under-privileged etc. You can try too and see for yourself. For children the time to live and fulfill their needs and demands is today. So how come with passage of time we start living in tomorrow? Nature is about this season and not the next.
So some thoughts for living collected over the years through reading, experiencing, observing and then simply existing:
· I am alive today
· Love your spouse today
· Let go off that negative feeling today
· Say I love you and how much you mean to me today
· I am strong today
· Take that walk today
· Water the plants today
· Pick - up the phone and call that someone special you have not called in ages today
· Let me help you today
· Sit and play with your child today
· Make that special dish for yourself and family today
· Pick up that un-finished book today
· Laze around today
· Listen to the songs today
· Catch up with neighbours and friends today
· Give a smile to a stranger today
· Share a cup of tea with your domestic help and let them know you care today
· Sit and chat with your teenager today
· Give up on the fear ‘what if….’ today
· Be with yourself today….
· Thank life and all that it has given TODAY