I was talking to my sister recently about positive and negative events in our lives and how they impact us. We went for hours talking about the so called positive and negative events. We talked and talked and talked and realized that we are talking about the stuff that we have known for a long time anyway. There was nothing new in our conversation. There was no groundbreaking discovery. There was no eureka moment. There was a constant realization of “I know. Easier said than done.”
We talked about negative events being and feeling negative because of the perception more than the event itself. What makes a tragedy a tragedy? It is not the tragedy itself. It is our perception of that event. Tragedy is probably too severe a word to use for our everyday life instances. But you get the idea. The way we think and process the events in our life have a greater impact on us than the occurrence itself. While the reality is that we are better off without a bad event occurring in our life, there is also the reality that when you think something bad is happening to us, it is not that bad in the large scheme of things. But it is hard to see it in that moment. In fact, more often than not it is impossible to see the greater good amidst some crappy experience you may be going through. That is why it is so much easier said than done that life is all about perspective and a bad event may not be as bad as we think it is.
In fact, there is so little in our lives that we can actually control. It may seem like a very regressive statement in todays day and age of technology, innovation and breakthroughs. But a big part of me really and truly believes in this statement. The philosopher in me treats this as a holy grail of our existence. We spend out lives planning and figuring and creating and inventing and progressing. All in the hope for a better future, more advancement and an easier life. But I am sure all of us have faced realities amidst these breakthroughs that ground us. That level our thinking. That make us realize that as humans keep getting more and more powerful and omni-everything each day, there is a part of us that cannot control it all. We as humans are not supposed to control this Universe and all its events. If that were the case we would have been born with a remote control to control this Universe. But we are born with the ability to control ourselves. And therefore we are born with our minds in our body. The point is that you can control yourself, your thoughts, your actions, your reactions. And you better know your limits. Of course, easier said than done. But it really puts a lot of things into perspective.
My sister recently attended a seminar and one of the things she took away from it was the realization of how we treat things and events differently based on our convenience or perception. For example we all deem smoking and drugs to be vices that we supposed to be bad for our mind, body and soul. But we don’t treat negative emotions such as jealousy, contempt, anger, and so on similarly. While the reality is that these negative emotions harm our body, quite literally and physically and not just emotionally, just as much, if not than any drugs out there. But while we build our perceptions around physical substance such as drugs and cigarettes, we forget to pay attention to emotions that fundamentally make or break us. The truth is that we should be treating anger and jealousy with an equal force. But of course easier said than done. I read somewhere long time ago: When someone else does something wrong or unacceptable, we blame it on their character. But when we do something wrong or unacceptable, we blame it on our situation. I don't know about you but this is especially true for me. Once I put this thought at the back of my mind, I realize how much I actually do this. We are so willing to give ourselves the benefit of doubt and blame our faults on the situation. We are equally unwilling to realize that someone who did something bad to us did it because of their situation and not because of who they are. We are so quick to call people mean, selfish and money minded. When in fact we demonstrate similar behavior and conveniently ignore it, or attribute to factors outside of us.
What is the point of this long, random, round about piece of writing? Well, there is no one point. Maybe there is no point. But there is a realization, yet again, that we are small tiny fractions of unit in this world that we can’t really deem ourselves more important than we really are. While we deal with all sorts of events and emotions that happen around us, we just need to know our strength and our limitations. And control is a very important part of it. Knowing what we can control and what we can’t control is at the heart of making peace with the happiness and the sadness of life. Here is a to digging one layer deeper every day in knowing more about us. Our limitations. Our strengths. Our controls. And our non-controls.