Saturday, January 09, 2010

Feeling lonely?

Suffering from pangs of loneliness??? There was a time when I did not know what to do when I felt lonely. Couple of years from that state of mind, now I know I have transformed the negative loneliness into positive solitude and that is something I cherish so much, its the "me" time I cannot do without any single day. So any day if you feel lonely, your next thought should be to do something you enjoy doing, maybe something that you wanted to learn from a long time, a class of classical music or a driving lesson.Go for a walk all by yourself, go do your chores. Pamper yourself, get a pedicure or a manicure or got get yourself a hep outfit. Now this activity need not necessarily involve spending money :D. For instance, I personally am very content spending time given a good broadband connection and a laptop. 

Now you would say all this is easier said than done. And you would not always have the motivation and drive to get that thing done. After all man is a social animal and you do need social interaction, a group of friends sometime. In that case, call up a friend, catch up with a friend over a cup of coffee, go for a movie..there are so many activities you can do with a friend. Its hard to come out of your shell, but do give yourself a push a day or two.I know I know you may not always also have the drive to call up a friend. That part I myself find very difficult, taking the initiative. 

Another key to driving away loneliness is engaging yourself, preoccupying yourself in an activity you enjoy doing. Now there is an ocean of options when it comes to learning something. Even a Google search on the Internet gives you thousands of results.One of the other things that also helped me to be comfortable in my solitude was the feeling that I cannot always be dependent on any person for anything. This one feeling helped me immensely in becoming independent and instilled a fearlessness, now I do not need any company for anything. I can shop alone, explore alone, do anything alone on this earth.
I discovered a new freedom in myself. A new independence. A new me. And all that came from my "me time".

But let me confess one thing that I still need to overcome. In spite of enjoying time alone, and engaging myself, when the loneliness factor is very strong, I avoid going to crowded places. I have never understood, but I know maybe its human psychology that when you feel lonely, the whole of the world appears to you having some sort of company, you always see couples roaming in your vicinity or a happy group of friends laughing away and your misery is aggravated. May be this can be over come by thinking that its just a phase, a temporary feeling.

Now I am not being preachy here but just sharing my thoughts on something I have experience in-numerous times. Being lonely is no doubt a herculean task but once we start breaking out of the chains of loneliness and the metamorphosis of loneliness into solitude begins, we will be a more happier and sane person and believe it or not we will experience a lot of self-development.

“Language... has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone.” Paul Tillich

Do you have any tips or suggestions that you can share on how to overcome loneliness??

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Competition ,Expectations ~ Death of talent

What type of a world do we live in? Certainly not a non-competitive one. There is a race everywhere, may it be getting your child an admission in the best of schools, getting yourself a promotion or the simplest example of catching yourself a seat in a public transport bus. Its as if life itself implies competition. how saddening.

The race begins from the time you come into the world, get into a good school, pass each standard with good marks, more importantly the boards. Pass out of 12th, rack your brains for an IIT or an equally good REC, pass out an engineer or possibly go into medicine. How time-table like is our human life?? I mean think of it, are we ever encouraged to think out of the box??Are we ever given scope to hone any of our hobbies so much so that we can make it our profession?? After all, textual knowledge is not everything, and certainly it does not bring out the creativity in a person. What ever  I am talking about is very clearly portrayed in the movie 3 Idiots. Yes it might have exaggerated in a few scenes, but the meaning is conveyed. Just like Silencer(the mugger) in the movie, many of us have passed exams without knowing the real meaning of the text we memorized! and what a pity that is! And why do we do all this? out of competition and out of the fear of not fulfilling our parents expectations!

Expectations, the root cause of all suffering. Parents, yes who very much love their children, want their children to be successful in life forget one thing. The fact that the burden of their expectations weighs heavily on a child. It can break a child, Neha an 11 year old girl committed suicide, how shocking is this news. And why?? She was a prodigal dancer but her parents refused to let her participate in a reality show and wanted her to concentrate on her studies, Result?? they lost their child completely, and to think of how gravely the parents decision affected the child that she chose to end her life???

Why isnt the child allowed to hone his/her talent. Why do the parents have to impose on a child?? and most importantly, why are the parents given the right to decide what the child wants to do in life. Just as dyslexic Ishaan in Taaren Zameen Par or Neha in real life are expected to study like a normal child, can't they be allowed to pursue their passions as well? I mean Neha for Gods sake was good in academics as I read here, don't understand why the parents discontinued her dance classes.

Competition to earn livelihood, to outshine others, living upto parents expectations is as good as murdering individual talent in a person. Its time we encouraged our children to do pursue professions which they are really passionate about, or work that they would really enjoy. Its time to stop more Nehas' from committing suicide..