Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Transform from BROKEN to NEWLY WHOLE....

In the 15th century, when the favorite tea-bowl of the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa broke, he sent it to China for repair. It came back held together with unsightly metal staples. The Shogun was very disappointed, and challenged his own Japanese craftsmen to come up with a more pleasing means of repair. The potters decided to fill the cracks with lacquered resin and powdered gold. The same broken cup became a stunning work of art.

We mostly try to repair broken things in a way to conceal the repair, and make it ‘AS GOOD AS NEW’. The tea masters and potters understood that by repairing a broken bowl with the distinctive beauty of radiant gold, they could instead make it ‘BETTER THAN NEW’.

The bowl’s unique fault lines were transformed into little rivers of gold that made it even more special. Now the bowl was uniquely beautiful. A radical physical transformation from BROKEN to NEWLY WHOLE, from USELESS to PRICELESS.

We all get broken, hurt, wounded in some way or the other in life. These are essential ingredients in the journey of life. Some broken relationships, friendships that went awry, some disappointments in our goals, unfulfilled dreams, vulnerable moments, etc. Nobody has ever been able to escape going through them at different points in their life. All that matters is how we choose to conduct ourselves while dealing with them.

Do we get stuck? Or do we allow ourselves to be consumed with anger, hatred, or maybe guilt, self-pity, or martyrdom, or just be in denial that its happening? Whichever route we may choose, end of the day something is broken inside us. We cease to feel whole and complete. There is a sense of lack, a disappointment with ourselves or with the other. The concern is that the cracks may now show. Our image is at stake...

We are focused on making our life AS GOOD AS NEW, but does that happen? Mostly we are busy blaming someone or something for what happened.

Instead if we observe, those are the moments that have invariably made us stronger, more resilient, compassionate, brave, understanding and wiser. They have even pushed us to go into the uncharted waters, and often surprised us with our own abilities.

Moving into gratitude to those experiences allows us to heal ourselves, and see the beauty of those cracks and scars which have now transformed us from feeling BROKEN to NEWLY WHOLE.....

Monday, 25 January 2016

INTOLERANCE - Hot Topic of late

It makes me wonder if it is possible to be tolerant of everything.
Is there anyone who is only tolerant, or only intolerant?
Why do we forget that we have choices?
When we choose something different, we can be perceived as intolerant. What matters is when making a choice, how do we express ourselves? Are we rejecting the other/s in the process? Are we going into a judgment?
When something bothers us, do we react or respond, do we express or go into a blame game.

Are you being intolerant or are you making a choice?
At times we do have apprehensions, and we express them. Can others just listen, and not start hitting, judging, labelling….

What is wrong per se with intolerance?
Someone is getting raped, abused, can I be tolerant then?
My wallet is being snatched by someone, will I be tolerant then?
Obviously my intolerance will come to the fore, be it for protection, self-preservation, or whatever other reason.

So how and when does intolerance start becoming bad / wrong?

Well, I avoid watching horror movies, or violent movies as I don’t enjoy them. I avoid watching them as I don’t have the tolerance to watch them, but I am not making any judgment why such movies are made. Nor do I have a conversation why others are watching them, and enjoying them. So I think maybe what matters is how you express your intolerance? Do you use it to hit back? Do you use it to vent out your own anger, or inability?

Intolerance is not the opposite of tolerance, in fact it's the essential counterpart. When we understand that, we can stop being intolerant of the word ‘Intolerance’.

Where there is tolerance, its counterpart intolerance has to be there. Whether it is being expressed overtly or covertly, it is there. One doesn't have a presence without the other.

Everything has its other polarity too. A magnet cannot have only South Pole, or only North Pole. It always has both the polarities at its two ends. Likewise, no emotion can have a stand-alone presence in us. It always must have its polarity as well. This is the Law of Polarity, which states that what we call opposites are simply different manifestations of the same thing. There are no absolutes in life. Everything is in continuum and has within itself its opposite as well. We just need to learn to strike a balance between the extremes.

As a tolerant person, I find it difficult to accept that there is intolerance in me too. I may not choose to be a victim of it, but it is there inside me. When I deny the presence of intolerance inside me, it tends to pop up unexpectedly and disturbs my calm, my balance, and obviously disturbs others as well. So can I be wise, and accept and embrace it also as part of me. That would allow me to address it as it comes up.

Rising intolerance also indicates a rise in the freedom of expression.

When someone expresses their views which are different from ours, we tend to go into a judgment zone. Listening has already been compromised. Where is the scope for any tolerance then?
Can we learn to simply listen to it as a statement? Listening doesn't mean we are in agreement with the person's viewpoint, nor do we need to be against it. Everyone has a right to express themselves.  

We are conveniently and selectively tolerant, or intolerant. 

May I remind all that we are a country with extreme financial disparity, multiple religions, castes, languages, cultures that have been co-existing fairly well? Of course there is a huge scope to take that co-existence a few notches up. Can we focus on doing that then?

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