How Free Are We Really?

We have all heard the word “freedom”. One might define it as the ability to move around freely, to be able to say and do things one wants (assuming no rules or laws are being broken by such things). If asked if they are free, most of us would probably say that we indeed are.

However, apart from the physical manifestations of freedom, I think the mental aspects of it are equally as important, if not more. To be truly free, I think one must have freedom from fear, experience, conditioning, self, and knowledge.

Let’s talk about each of them and see why they are important, and how we can deal with them.

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I bow to thee,
The great sands.
‘Gainst your power,
Who are we?

Born high or low,
Everyone cowers,
When winds howl,
And sands blow.

Inch by inch, day by day,
You keep crawling along.
Slowly, steadily, stealthily,
You bury kingdoms away.

The secrets you hold,
May make men mad.
Or bless ‘em beyond belief,
With riches untold.

Grains unfathomable,
The world and beyond.
For an eternal life,
Just a few, be ample.

Yet, we kill, we fight,
Lost in the parade.
You blind us much,
By clouding the light.

In this barren wasteland,
Keep moving, keep hoping.
Many have been consumed,
By this deathly quicksand.

When I feel you slip away,
From within my grasp,
Sometimes, I am glad,
Sometimes, I wish you’d stay.

When Sides Are Already Taken…

Came across this article the other day in the newspaper. Have to say, the author, Amulya Gopalakrishnan, has made a very acute observation into human behaviour here. And she’s done a great job putting those thoughts into words.

The gist of the post, which I strongly encourage you to check out in detail, is that there’s only so much that we can do to convince people who already have quite strong convictions about the things that they believe in. They may be wrong, and you can provide all the facts and proofs in the world, but it’s unlikely that any of that will have any significant impact in changing those people’s thoughts.

Instead, the author suggests a different approach:

We all protect our identities; to detach a belief from a person, one needs to sever the link between the attitude and the holder’s self-image. We need to tell the story differently. Point-scoring does the opposite, it makes people descend further into their trenches.

Do check out the complete article here.

Belief, In The Face Of Experience

Recently, something happened, and it brought to mind (again!) an old conflict that I’ve never fully been able to resolve. So, I thought I’d talk about it here, in case someone comes across it, and can provide some additional insights into it.

I think we all have some beliefs about life – how things are, how they should be, how one should react to and approach life, etc. And the thought that I’m struggling with is this: What happens when your beliefs conflict with what you observe around yourself? Do you change your beliefs and approach to life? More importantly, should you?

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Real Integrity

Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s ever going to know whether you did it or not.

– Oprah Winfrey

I couldn’t agree more with the above definition of “integrity” by Oprah.

Integrity is not just about doing the right thing – it’s about doing the right thing for the right reason. One might be tempted to do the right thing for fear of what people might say if they knew she didn’t do something, or she might do it expecting some sort of reward or appreciation. But to do what one truly believes in, irrespective of what others may think or do, even when doing the said thing can cost one dearly, that takes true integrity. And courage.

What Am I Entitled To?

Have you ever met one of those people who always seem to have unrealistically high expectations from you? Their expectations from you maybe selfish – like for you to always be available at their beck and call to do whatever they ask – or it can be “in your best interest” – the kind of expectations really “driven” parents have for their children’s future.

Well, I know of at least one such person. And I can tell you: sometimes, that person can be a real pain-in-the-ass. Do you wanna know who that person is? Well…it’s me.

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O My Moon

O my Moon,
Be my guide.
In this darkness,
Show me light.

I want to follow you.
To world’s end.
Lead me to my destiny,
Take my hand.

You wake me up,
You make me see,
All this beauty,
That could be.

I may not see you,
But I’m aware,
Silent, and far away,
You are there.

All alone, all this while,
Don’t you long for more?
Find your missing piece
And become whole?

Look at me,
As I at you.
Two lost children.
That is true.

We may seem different,
Show different moods.
But we come from one place,
Share deep roots.

I yearn for you,
With all your scars.
You’re my only Moon,
Amongst the stars.

But if I’m not worthy,
Of your grace,
I’ll find a way, just
Promise me this:

Far above and beyond,
Forever stay so bright.
As you look now, beautiful,
On this river tonight.

O my Moon,
Be my guide.
In this darkness,
Show me light.

The seeds of this little gem were sown recently, as I was driving down a long, open road, with a brilliant Moon on the side.

And although, the poem did take root as an ode to the Moon, it quickly evolved into much more than that. I leave it up to you to figure out what that is… 🙂

Be Aware Of Your Path…

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.

– Lao Tzu

When I first came across this quote, I thought it was a warning to change one’s path before it was too late, before one ended up at a regrettable destination. I always thought that the quote was only about avoiding negative outcomes.

However, just today, I came across this comment, that totally changed how I look at the quote.

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Concept Of A “Country”

What does it mean when we say that a “country” has done or achieved something? Let’s look at a couple of examples:

  • “Country X successfully launched a major space probe.”
  • “An underdog team from country X wins a major sport competition.”
  • “Country X attacks country Y.”

What or whom exactly are we referring to by “country”? Whom should we congratulate on the achievement? Whom can we blame for the war?

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