Wednesday, 27 April 2016

A Review After 3 Years and 4 Months

Did we take on this road less travelled because we were dismayed and wanted to escape the beaten path or were we enchanted by a new way of life? Partly both. What proportions? I don’t remember; also, it is irrelevant now. 

Nonetheless, there was a willingness to explore and do it earnestly. 
We did not begin by being members of an alternate lifestyle group/community. We were not opponents of the existing system of education, farming, construction, economy, governance, etc. We have no ideology or a spiritual guru. As we moved along, we got acquainted to many people, who had also chosen to tread off the beaten path, but most of them had affiliations to certain ideologies or beliefs. The common thread that bound most of them is their disapproval of status quo. 

Rekha never really felt at home with most of these ideologies and beliefs. But I did share their thinking and hoped that an alternate is workable. But now, I don’t have much of that hope left. The wife is (almost) always right. 
I’m not feeling let down or dismayed. I feel liberated. I understand people in both worlds (the alternate and the mainstream) much better and I love them irrespective of the badge they’re displaying, irrespective of whether they’re able to reciprocate. 

The truth is that there is nothing wrong with status quo and nothing right. The truth is that any alternative is just an idea. The truth is also that I’ve found joy in both lifestyles. 

As a family, we’ve lived for 3 years just trying to find ground below our feet, just to get a feeling of having settled, having transitioned successfully from an elite urban lifestyle to a life on the farm. We’re now on the other side of the bridge. Yes, there are incremental adaptations, some more understanding, few more goals, but the difficult part of the journey is over. We now know ourselves and each other much better. What a journey it has been! The travel has been far more exciting than the destination. 

Is it time to sit back, slow down and enjoy the fruits of our labour? It sounds logical, but not exciting. There is indeed a lot more, that can be done. One may perceive that the real journey is about to begin now. Not wrong at all. 
Alternatively, how about taking another road...even less travelled! How does it matter whether someone else has travelled or not? As long as the love in the heart grows and excitement scales new peaks, it is in line with our family characteristics.

I guess some more thought has to be applied

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Why Did I Exit Groups

Groups are fun, energising. A group is often more than the sum of all. But there's more than that to truth.

Affluence has gone up. Characteristic of friends and relatives change with raised affluence. The bubbles around them enlarge. Smiles become wider and laughter quiter. Head gets precedence over heart.

A group seeks conformity. I felt unwelcome in groups where I didn't conform. One-on-one, everyone in the group likes me, but when together, I had to resemble them. 

In a group, fear multiplies and risks assume larger proportions. When they evaluate my off-beat decisions, they expect me to prove robustness in scenarios, which aren't even probable. When I can't defend, they feel vindicated. 

A group abhors one-to-one dialogue. It is treated as contempt of group etiquette. So, it is imperative while discussing in a group, proceed at the pace of the slowest and do not raise the content beyond what the dumbest and the least interested can comprehend or shows interest.  

Why then, should I seek a group? Because I seek the strength of unity and the fruits of synergy? Or because I seek relaxation in the long and tiring journey of the soul? 

Strength of unity is relevant in adverse times or against an adversary. Synergy cannot be sought in the absence of a shared objective. In times of prosperity, insecurity and fear often dictates group thought and behaviour.

So, let me not look out out for someone to organise a get-together. Instead, let me just go ahead and meet up those I'd like to meet. Let me not seek an approval from a group for what I think or feel. Let me use my wits instead. Let me not seek opinion to check if I really belong to the group. Let me be what I am.

Groups - I must to exit you though I still love each one of you. I accept that for fun and relaxation, there's the magic of a group is not replicable in any other way. But I can't use a group for that alone.