Perspectives and Perceptions

Hackneyed as it may sound, this post is about my irritation with the way people think of themselves. Many a teenager must have ranted about how they’re frustrated about the way the world works, raised questions like “Why can’t everyone just be like me and think the way I do?” or ended up writing posts the way I am writing, ostensibly as a personal blog but wanting to seek attention from across the world, in hopes of becoming popular. Naah, just kidding. I write these posts just to relieve my brain of storing too much data. But that’s not the point. Nothing is the point. We are all nothing here. We all have this conception of our “self” which dictates everything, right from when you take a dump to when you pick your nose, whether publicly or privately, whether inadvertently or consciously, and the “self” does it in a smooth way. It always ends up convincing you that “you”, I mean the “self,” did the right thing. Cheeky, aren’t you?

We are all yearning for something. Always. When in a crowd, we want solitude. When alone, we want company. Our “self” always makes us feel that we lack in something, and at times – or most of the times – that we’re superior to everyone around us. Both these views are detrimental to us in that we start developing a false version of reality around us and attach to things easily. But put it in a cold light – what do you get? The world doesn’t care about anyone in particular. It isn’t angry at you, it isn’t there to please you, and it certainly doesn’t have any feelings for you. Your personification of the universe won’t yield you any benefit, so it’s better to just take it “as is” and move on in life. Had a rough childhood? Going through tough times? Not finding a job? Well, it makes me sad since I could probably sympathize, or empathize in some cases. But does it affect the universe? As cold as it may sound, it doesn’t. Your problems are only yours, and probably shared by a few human beings around you. Suddenly finding the world very bright after you got that promotion? It’s not so bright to everyone around you. Again, your mind just playing around with you.

So through this post, do I intend to say that we must all let go of our emotions and be completely cold-hearted? Should I just be apathetic to your getting sacked during a layoff period? Should I just not give a damn that you created a supposedly marvelous painting out of leftover paint? Of course, just like the answer that cries itself out loud to any generic rhetorical question, it’s a strong “No” to the above questions and other such related arguments. We are all human (no Siri or Cortana, neither of you. “OK, Google!”), and we all have pangs of accumulated emotions bursting out and some corner of the brain indulging in creativity while existing on this planet (maybe on Mars too, in a few years). It’s absolutely normal to attach to certain objects, events, people or even surroundings. But taking it a notch overboard doesn’t help. We obviously can’t be “cold” to everything around us, but we must ensure that we reduce our tendency to be emotional about any damn thing we can think of. I agree that every human being is unique (well, to an extent); some more emotional than others, and some not at all. But I believe letting emotions grip us never did us any “good.” All the wars that have been fought, all the cross-border tensions that exist, and even all the sadness that we feel daily has got something to do with our emotions.

We can’t simply let emotions keep on getting the better of us. We must realize that we live in a world that’s defined by our five senses and each one of us thinks of things that we probably can’t think of. That’s where this post’s title also features – perspectives and perceptions. Everyone has a different perspective of the world, and everyone perceives things in their own way. There is no “absolute” world out there – it’s just a product of what our senses interpret. For all you Star Wars fans out there:

“Only a Sith deals in absolutes.”

And human beings certainly aren’t Siths. It is no wonder that so many people become existential and start hunting for the “meaning of life.” We can never know if it’s all here as a matter of chance, if there’s a creator out there, or if we even exist. Everyone has their own set of beliefs, experiences, and reasoning. It is best if we all just agreed that each one of us is different in our own way and sees the world from our own perspective. It is as simple as that. Every problem in the “world” is a manifestation of a very fundamental issue that bothers us – be it in the form of mistrust, arrogance, emotions, or whatever. Since man is a social animal and can’t live on his own, it’s implicit that he behave such that he keeps himself and the community in a way that favours coexistence. Since we’ve proceeded in time to a world which has so many issues, it’d be best if we all turned to our personal sides and hunted for the problems that have arisen due to personal issues. You’d be surprised.

I’m Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I’m Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could’ve Been Any Clearer
“If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make A Change”

Cheesy as it may sound, the message is very clear. I’m going to involve pop culture references in each post henceforth. And no, I haven’t been randomly influenced by popular culture around me so as to write this post based on what I’ve seen or read. It is the outcome of thinking and wondering why things are the way they are. It is just that people don’t think much about things.

Typicalism

So typical of you! Ever heard this exclamation? I’ll be you have, at least in your local language if not in English. I felt like writing about how people typically are typical in any respect. It’s so typical of my brain to be wayward, just like everyone else’s, but I go a step further in grabbing attention by writing loads of balderdash about it. But it’s a release, so typically I feel well after it.

typical
ˈtɪpɪk(ə)l/
adjective

having the distinctive qualities of a particular type of person or thing.

 

Now, isn’t that a typical definition as provided by a typical Google search?

Yes, I am over-smart.

What is it with my obsession about this ‘typical’ thing? It is basically just an outcome of everyday observations about how people generally behave, and follow patterns in their day-to-day lives, thinking that they’re living in absolute control over their habits and lifestyle and can bring about changes as and when desired. But with every single person, the case is such that they just don’t deviate from their daily schedules by a margin unless something of great “priority” comes up. Now, obviously, this isn’t the case with everyone, as statistically we can see that there are those who actually have control over everyday happenings related to their lives. But I’m talking about the 90% who don’t, and am really fascinated by the fact that everyone wants a change but just can’t bring it about so easily as they think they could.

Say, I tell you to start breathing exercises from tomorrow onward – exercises that take up 5 minutes of your “busy” schedules. We all know that such exercises will only benefit us in the long run, and it’s just the habit we need to develop now. There’s no money involved in it either – they’re absolutely free. This concept is both too good and true as well. But as good as it may sound, does it actually happen so easily? No, right? I’d like to stress upon this issue that’s been haunting human beings since time immemorial and one that everyone’s been after for a change but has never been able to successfully do so. I wouldn’t say I’m the first person who’s taken it upon himself to defy this trend and become so “effective” at changing habits and behaviour at will, but I would certainly make an honest attempt to become “effective.” It’s just that making changes in “life” are very difficult. It’s probably because the more frequently you perform a particular action that does not have an adverse effect on your physical and mental state (or at least deceive so), the more your inner working mechanism strengthens the intention to repeat that action. So, as we are all accustomed to our daily lives, we keep on doing the same things daily without thinking much about what we’re doing.

Now, if I were to just “follow my heart” and do what I wished to do, what’d happen? Would it cause a major upset in the functioning of the universe and change the course of history forever? Maybe. What, seriously? Does it have such an impact? At least we don’t perceive so. But what if the entirety of humanity was to reject the notion of a daily schedule, and take the concept of “free will” to such a level that they did whatever they felt like doing? Chaos, isn’t it? Of course. Obviously, if I were to think from a broader perspective, it wouldn’t be a major event, and it would certainly return to normalcy over a period of a few months. That is how everything in the world functions. We’re all tied to our own schedules. We simply say that we’re fed up of the “system,” and then comes another group which says that “you gotta change the system or follow your own path” and then another one that just rejects everything there is. It’s all so predictable now. “Typical,” this post cries out.

We’ve all become conditioned to just following someone out there just because they’re doing it (mirror neurons, maybe?) or follow someone who tells us “to set our own example and follow it.” Couldn’t we just simplify things a bit and think from a slightly less abstract perspective? Like, maybe, just getting our ego out of the way and just “being?” The literary world is flooded with quotes on practically anything and everything. You’re bound to find quotes related to success, failure, ego, persistence, and so many other qualities I can’t think of. Why attach too much to them and restrict ourselves to what someone apparently said through an image? We’re smart enough to make a good judgement ourselves and let go of such unnecessary attachments. We can prioritize well enough and make ourselves better off. Well, biases are something that’s left right now for a later post, since we all have them whether we like it or not. Now, what biases am I talking about? Biases related to every single thing – our upbringing, our experiences, our surroundings – we’re affected subtly by so many things out there that we don’t even realize it. These things may affect our judgment, but we could always agree on something that satisfies all parties. We’re all humans, and we all have something in common – at least a brain. So, irrespective of biases, we could always have a settlement.

Let me end this post on a typical note – goodbye. It’s very atypical this time.