For thinkers like me,..........................What? Why the smirk? You think I’m flattering myself by calling myself a thinker, huh? I don’t have to be a Gandhi, Tolstoy or Vivekanand to be a thinker. Anyway greatness does not have much co-relation with popularity. Anyone who spends considerable time thinking is a thinker. Since I don’t have much to do, I think...anyway, let me not get distracted.
For thinkers like me, majority of emotional upheavals (meaning a drop or surge in the emotional quotient like in case of anger, ecstasy, fear, jealousy, etc.) are caused by thinking of what my wife does, does not do, did, did not do, should do, should not do, should have done shouldn’t have done, says, does not say, said, did not say......I hope you get the drift. But it is not about my wife alone. There ought to be a comma after wife. After the comma, other entities like children, mother, father, siblings, neighbour, the mayor of my town, my subordinate, my boss, the managing director of my company, the prime minister of my country, the president of the USA, the head of the European Union, the leaders of Islamic State....the list seems endless.
You think this is funny? I’ve been thinking of how to illustrate the entire gamut in a figure. If I use a table or an excel sheet, this is how it may look like. The number of rows may increase manifold. The verbs stated here are commonly used ones.
One such sheet is for each entity. Then I realised that there are cross-sheet relationship like I also think about what my wife did but children did not do. The operating system of the mind must be amazing. It has to store emotions and thoughts in so many cells and pivot tables. For the moment I’ve given up trying to illustrate it in a figure. But what the hell, I am not able to illustrate the map of the place my mind travels in, every day, every moment. All the technology is rendered insufficient!
Anyway, illustration is not the crux of what I intend communicating here. The crux is that all the emotional upheavals and the consequential actions and emotions are caused by stuff I can do almost nothing about!
Pause. Read the highlighted portion again – slowly – one word at a time. Stare into space while you introspect. Continue reading only if your reaction is, “Oh! What a profound insight!” or “I never thought of it this way!” or at least “I agree.”
Now we move to the crux part 2. If, instead of offering the disk space in my mind to so many entities, whose actions I have no control on, I choose to, try to and struggle to concentrate my mind only to what I do, what I don’t do, what I should do, what I should not do, what I say, what I don’t say, etc., would it be better?
I’ve had this realisation earlier as well, vaguely though. That time I started focussing my attention to what I was doing. Now the result is quite interesting. I’ve been doing Yoga-asanas for over 12 years now. But by focussing my thoughts inwards, last month, I realised that my Sarvangasana was perhaps incorrect. I was giving more support to my back, because of which, the tension, which should get created on the abdominal muscles was not getting created. I corrected my posture and felt much better doing the same Yoga-asana! Invaluable, priceless benefit for me, though it may not be of any value to another person!
Now, consider this. If I were to (as in, destined to or required to) find a solution to the crisis of refugees in Europe, somehow, I’d have been required to act in that direction. But as it stands today, I just read about it in papers or internet, knowing well that there may be innumerable other perspectives to the same story, I’m not exposed to. I do find myself sad, disgusted and aggrieved. But, does it help any person concerned? It doesn’t seem so. I’ve no business to take any side, since I have no stakes. Why, then am I getting worked up? Same is the case with other entities.
Every megabyte or kilobyte of space in my mind, which gets occupied by issues I can’t do much about eats into space I can offer to issues I can do something about.
Selfish! Did you say I’m being selfish and unconcerned about larger issues? Well, you may say so, but I can’t do much about it, unless you ask me to clarify.