Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I hate backbiting!

Anytime I am asked to write about my pet hates, be it in any social networking site, I always mention that something that I hate the most is backbiting. Believe it or not, there is almost no place without at least some degree of backbiting; in schools, in corporate environments, and even among family relatives. As I grew up, I always thought, as I would grow up, the encounters I would have with backbiters will reduce. I used to somehow associate backbiting with immaturity and thought that older people don’t talk behind people’s backs. I have been taught by several experiences that my thought was absolutely wrong. As I grew up, the backbiting I encountered only increased more.

I know it is human tendency to love to gossip and talk about others more than about them except some narcissists, of course. In fact it is almost impossible not to talk about others if you want to have so- called pleasing conversations with several people. Most people who talk about something academic or philosophical etc are considered ‘boring’, while people who can talk non- stop bullshit about others are definitely found interesting by most. There might be people who might refute what I just said, but I can’t help feeling that this is how much of the society works. How in the world would something called ‘trust’ ever develop between people when backbiting prevails in such a great degree? Naturally, people are tempted to isolate from people around them and instead go pay a shrink to talk to. But what hurts more is when you don’t talk behind people’s back, and yet people assume that you spoke ill of them behind them and then move away from you. I have had experiences where I would come to know later that people who I considered as really good friends had actually spoken ill of me or leaked out secrets of mine or worst still, said false things about me behind my back. I learnt most of my lessons in backbiting during my undergrad days. There was a certain period in my life back during my undergrad days, where I felt I could not trust anyone and was scared of talking to anyone of the fear that they might misuse anything I speak against me. I don’t think I can ever get over that fear completely, but I have slowly learnt my ways of dealing with such situations though mostly there is nothing much one can do once the damage has been done.

It is inevitable to bitch about people you don’t like and in some cases you can’t complain of someone bothering you, say a boss or a professor or a celebrity right in front of them, and I am sure others do that about you too. But I don’t think it is fair enough to talk ill about someone and ruin their lives in any way. Think of being a victim of someone’s backbiting where you are at a loss; honestly it is not very pleasing. I feel strongly that you don’t necessarily have to do good for everyone surrounding you, but you can definitely make sure that you are not doing any bad to anyone around you and at the least not talk to everyone about things people told you because they trusted you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fairy Tales

         Most of us would have read at least one fairy tale during our lives. Reading a fairy tale before going to sleep at night relaxes me and actually helps me fall asleep. As children most of us tend to believe that fairy tales, fictional characters etc are all real. Our lives are typically happy. Because we don't add a pinch of practicality to every single thing and our minds hardly feel stressed. We go to the extent of imagining ourselves as those fictional characters.

         As we grow up, life situations, society and everything around us force us to learn to add practicality into our thoughts. At first the child in us tends to think that any problem we face would mellow down and eventually would vanish, that something magical would happen and things would change radically, or that some angel or may be god himself will bestow upon a boon or two in our favor and we would suddenly become the richest or the happiest person or what not. But the more experiences we have, particularly negative experiences, the more the adult in us immediately thinks practically and says to himself, that no such fairies or angels or magical moments exist in real life and that is exactly what we call as reality striking itself to us. This adult in us gets cultivated more through parents, teachers and other adults in our lives along with experiences than through formal education. It is however a different issue that education does influence, how well this adult gets groomed as an individual.

          Even as grown ups most of us don't give up the fairy tale thoughts. While it would be silly to just quote cliche movie examples where people wait for their dream guy or girl to show up in their lives, but in someways it is fair enough an example. We have grown smart enough to realize that kissing a frog is not going to turn the frog into a prince, but several of us are ready to take the chance of trying to kiss several frogs in the hope of finding the prince soon.

          It is as simple as this, each of us have the perspective of looking at ourselves as the main central character in our life story and that everything around us is just associated/disassociated with us, the central character. It is not uncommon for anyone of us to be thinking that we are the central character of our life story, so everything good will happen to us and that an angel could enter into our lives someday. But even as our mind gets a little preoccupied with such a thought, just as in all fairy tales, there are always some witches and demons around who will remind us that the angel we are waiting isn't really anywhere to be seen and that we have fight our battle ourselves. Despite these hardships, I think it is fine to a certain extent to believe that angels, magical moments will occur, if these angels are being compared to positive outlook, hope and faith.