Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Rehan has found a new obsession. One among his many obsessions. Shadows. He looks at his shadow. He gets excited when he sees shadows. He chases his shadow in an effort to catch it. I remember when Sammy was obsessed with shadows. There is something very fascinating about seeing your own shadow. Even now I find my shadow fascinating. The tall and the short of it. The dark and the light of it. It looks nothing like me. Sometimes I find it hard to believe it is my shadow. But that is the very function of shadow. Shadow is my reflection, yet very different.

The thing about shadow is that it lets you see your reflection as another person. You see it for what it is. You don’t see it is as yourself. You see it as a slightly different entity. So it is easier to be objective about it. 

The thing about reflection is that when we reflect on our past, our actions, our words, our thoughts, it is not always possible to be objective. Not for me, anyway. I am biased for me. Even when I am trying to be objective. I am able to see my shadow as another object. But when I am reflecting on me, I can’t separate it from me. I have shades of gray. Not sure how many. Wink. No pun intended. The point is that I have positives and negatives. There are some people who have seen my good side and believe in my good side. There are some who have seen my bad side and believe in my bad side. Same is true for how I view other people. More often than not, I categorize people and things in “I like them” and “I don't like them” as opposed to “good” and “bad.” I understand that there might be huge overlap in all these quadrants if a venn diagram were to be made. But that makes the whole reflection and being-objective thing so tricky. Reflection is a recursive exercise with the self that never ends.

It is so much easier to see someone else yell or shout and think “Oh, what a jerk. I will never be that person. I will never behave that way with anyone.”  But the reality is that the actions we condone of others are the ones we do ourselves. Several times a day. We don’t judge ourselves the way we judge others. That is because we reflect poorly. It is difficult. I can’t truly reflect on my actions as long as I am seeing myself as me. I need some distance from myself if I want to reflect. This is the reason why I find it difficult to reflect objectively on my actions as they are happening. It is so difficult to distance us from the current. It takes us days, weeks, sometimes years to really understand what happened. What we did wrong.

That said, it is important to reflect. Reflecting is important to grow. As a person. As a human. It allows us to hope for a better tomorrow than today. It empowers us to not repeat our mistakes, or repeat them knowingly. It tries to fight ignorance of the self. There are different levels of ignorance and I think the ignorance of self is the most dangerous. Lack of reflection does not change the reality. And knowing the real you is important. You may or may not want to do anything once you have the knowledge of the real you. You may just want to embrace your positives and negatives in all their glory. But that awareness gives us the perspective to know that each one of us has various facets to our personality. There is no single good or bad. Your good could be my bad, and vice versa. It allows us to accept us for who we are. It gives us the chance to be a better version of us. If we want to be, of course. Or just skip to the next step if we don’t want to change.

The point of this super abstract thought process is, that reflection allows us to acknowledge and accept ourselves in the present. It allows us the opportunity to potentially be better. It allows people around us to learn and grow with us. It is one of the most important things I do in my subconscious mind. Obviously non-scientifically speaking.

I just wish I could view it like a shadow. Mine. But not quite me.

Kids reflect differently, I think.

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