To Be or Not To Be

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!

~A Wise Man Said~

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
-- Aristotle

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Another milestone has been crossed. A friend objected when I used the word milestone in relation to my birthday. But what is a milestone? A birthday’s not a milestone in the goal achieved sense, yes, but it is a milestone in the journey of life. You have crossed it and you can only look back but not go back…

Every year my excitement about the day approaching diminishes. I understand why kids and teenagers are probably most excited about their birthdays. Age doesn’t seem to be a worrisome concept to them…it’s just a day to celebrate, to call friends, to cut cakes, to feel special. But, all these things don’t excite you anymore, as you grow older. You wish birthdays could come a little slower and age would creep in a little less closer…

Notwithstanding the rather sober reflections, which are characteristic of me on this day, I am feeling that ‘warm fuzzy happy’ feeling of being loved and thought about. Men would probably say that remembering someone’s birthday is no indicator of how much they care about them, but I guess all girls are equally silly, at least in this one respect. :)

Saturday, January 02, 2010
Is there such a thing as being tired of ‘too much’? There was a time when people had too little and they knew what to do with that little. They had food at home, clothes once or twice a year, Doordarshan supplied enough entertainment, the odd extravagant expense was also on something perceived to be of long term value. People had limited needs and limited means, and in trying to meet the two, they seemed to find joy, they seemed to be contented, they seemed to care about values, they seemed to be able to cherish relationships.

We have no doubt achieved a lot today. Success, wealth, designer clothes, gourmet food, fast cars, international holidays, malls, satellite TV, Internet, mobile/wireless…what not. On the face of it, we should be a million times happier. Are we?

Why does gaining something mean losing something else? Is the trade-off always worth it? What have I gained if I have gained success but died of stress, leaving a young family to fend alone in the world? What have I gained if I have gained designer clothes but daily obsess about whether I look good enough? What have I gained if I have gained a thousand new channels on TV but what I end up doing is flip through them instead of finding anything worth watching? What have I gained if I have gained a mobile phone and the Internet world if I am striving to maintain a semblance of connection with my wide base of ever increasing friends? What have I gained if I have gained a huge house and a fancy car if I have not gained an honest soul I can trust and can share these things with?

I do not claim to have an answer. I also do not mean to say that we have not gained anything and all our accomplishments are nothing. But, I must admit, these thoughts cross my mind very often nowadays, forcing me to ask myself, what do I want to gain? What is the ‘real thing’? Soft bed or good sleep? I feel introspecting about what is it that makes us really happy is important from time to time, because it is easy to get lost in the age of plenty, forgetting that plenty neither means quality nor happy.

Standing on the brink of a brand new year, those are my thoughts and wishes… to have the sense to separate the wheat from the chaff; the real things from temporary pleasures, and to be really happy…and I wish you all a very happy and joyous new year too…