Monday, 23 July 2012

Is compassion a natural trait of humans?

Increasingly I have been wondering whether compassion comes naturally to humans. I say this because I observe in myself and many others that compassion does not come quite easily. But we are led to believe that one ought to be a fountain of love and compassion. Though it is ideal that one should feel compassionate, most of the times it has to be coaxed. Taking an instance from my own life: If I have some free time, I would like to use it to do what I want rather than helping out someone with their studies or babysit. I would like to spend the time without doing anything but since being compassionate is the most ideal thing to do, I would force a smile and accept the given task. Notice how I say "task" and not 'favour.' I am aware that since I am free, I have time on my hands BUT I am unwilling to give up that time. Isn't that being selfish?

When I do see some people always ready to do something for others, I wonder whether it comes naturally to them or are they feigning compassion and forcing themselves to behave in a certain way because it raises their self-esteem. When I see an avalanche of quotes, sayings and messages on giving, caring and losing oneself for the cause of others, it is affirmed that these sayings are reiterating something that is becoming sparse.

Compassion, I reckon, has to be cultivated over time until finally it ceases to become forced and comes naturally. Aristotle rightly commends, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." Perhaps Aristotle's wisdom holds good for any trait be it excellence or compassion. Now I guess what I should be doing -- Cultivate compassion which is not a natural trait in me.

Well, readers, what do you think of this topic.

Image: Internet

P. S: Since I don't have internet at home, I am forced to forgo the pleasure of reading and commenting on your blogs. I hope this condition alters and I can resume joyfully commenting on your delightful posts. Hope you don't much mind my absence and continue to think of me when you write posts you know that I would have loved to read. You are always on my mind.

Friday, 13 July 2012

This and that AND that and this

Existential questions strike you at in-consequent times like when you are in an auto-rickshaw and when the auto stops at a signal, a procession carrying a dead body passes by and all of a sudden you think, "What is the purpose of my life on this earth? Why am I here?" One wonders about Buddha and his similar experience of passing by a dead body. The signal changes colour and the auto moves on but the question still lingers on in your mind.

Then suddenly like a flash of lightening, a smart guy passes by the auto, peers into the auto, gives a brilliant smile and rides away. The smile is returned. Where the existential question goes, you wonder. All that remains is the smile and the twinkle of the smart guy's eyes.

The auto reaches the destination and the friends wave at you. The question as well as the smile is forgotten. When friends meet, memories are always kindled. A different set of thoughts replace the former ones. I realise that life is made up of such cycles -- thought replacing thought, emotions replacing emotions . . . everything is in a state of flux which combines the lived, the living and the going to be lived.

Even as I write this post, the actions that have been written down have become the past but the past that has been passed has been resurrected in the present and saved for the future.

Life goes on . . .

Image: Internet

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Early risers and compulsive slogs

I do enjoy waking up early before the sun comes up to a quiet and chirpy morning. But alas! I cannot do it every morning or let's say most of the mornings. Well, I can if I want to but I just let myself sleep. I don't much try to make rising early a priority. But, I have seen that early risers always manage to get those Wow! glances and smiles of admiration. Nearly always. When someone rises early and breaks into a run and works out, there is a sense of awe over that individual. It almost seems that people who don't rise early are marginalised and seen as lazy. Every family lauds an early riser and those individuals are always set as shining examples of how life should be lived. Remember the saying: Early to bed and early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy and wise. But don't we all have our own body rhythms and cycles?!?

Now the same applies for those individuals who slog and slog, no matter how tired they are. Now it seems that these sloggers like to slog not because they are wired that way but because certain others are not wired that way. Do you get what I mean. Those who slog endlessly don't know what it means to spend a few minutes without doing something. They abhor idleness and also people who seem to be idle. And almost by default everyone who slogs is an early riser!!!

The world always favours the early risers and compulsive slogs or so it seems. Those who slog always find something to do and are seldom seen taking an afternoon siesta or prolonging a meal. I reckon that the slogging starts off in a very harmless manner and over a period of time becomes an identity. Compliments like, "G is always busy; K always finds something to do; O is never idle" lead the person who slogs to persevere slogging more enthusiastically. Don't they ever relish in just being rather than doing? Sadly, many women are the ones who get into this slogging mode and finally a day comes when they cannot manage and off they snap. But do they have a choice? And sadly, women are also the early risers.

Though I started this post to complain against the unfair means of judging people by the time they rise and the amount of work they do, I went off on a tangent. Well, I forgot to mention chronobiology but then I remember that I had written a post on that a long time ago.

So, are you a proud early riser who flaunts your sleeping habits or are you a poor morning person who sometimes wakes up early? Maybe you slog as well ;)

Image: Internet


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