Live and let live. Forgive and forget. Oft-repeated-done-to-death phrases which have lost all meaning and essence in today’s times. Neither are we being able to live peacefully and neither are we able to let others around us live in the way they want to. We have an opinion and a viewpoint on every single thing. It has has become increasingly difficult to ‘just be’.
Most forms of spirituality or meditation ask an individual to look within himself and recognize his/her positives and flaws. It is supposed to be an individual exercise, not one where a consensus needs to be reached upon by everybody known to the individual. It is a universally acknowledged truth that we are the sum of all that we experience. We are the sum of all that we win and lose. But to pick or choose one aspect out of a million that goes into each second of every day of each month in a year to define a person. Is it fair? I don’t think so. Because we have so much of an opinion and viewpoint on how others around us should conduct their lives and how they should bring value into their lives, we are indirectly taking away their freedom to think for themselves, live for themselves. Every individual comes into this world alone, and will leave this world alone. So if the entry and exit can be taken care of individualistically, why can’t a path be chosen in a similar way too? Just because we are offering heavy duty views and opinions to the people who matter to us and who we care for, we end up thinking that if they do not follow our advice or our guidance, it means that they are headed for a catastrophe of the worst kind.
Every man is not an island onto himself, but he and he alone can seek answers for the questions that trouble him. Even a spiritual guru can point and guide you towards the path you need to take. After that the steps you take are yours. How you manage yourself down that path will indicate your presence of mind.
Presence of mind. If we slowly and carefully repeat these words to ourselves, we will realize the actual import of these words. We need the full presence of our minds, we need to exploit as much of its capacity as we can to assess a situation. To manage a situation well, we need our full and complete wits about us. But be careful to note…the phrase refers to mind in the singular. It doesn’t say “presence of minds”. An individual who is responsible and accountable for a situation should be able to use the faculties of his mind to the best possible extent, and not want to use the mind of others.
There can be two ways of looking at this. One: Too many cooks spoil the broth. Second: Two heads are better than one. What will determine which option to go with? Well, obviously the situation at hand.
Before you invite one cook too many or another head to crack the problem at hand, you should be able to identify and recognize the problem at hand. You should be able to articulate and vocalize the issue which needs help. Lack of clarity and more heads coming together will only compound a situation for the worse rather than smoothen it out. If one does not know what really is the problem at hand and is flailing along with bouts of weakness and helplessness, then a second or third head will never be able to help. Until and unless, you have outlined the correct question for yourself, you will never get the answer you are seeking for.
Why laugh and forget? Because life..the long and short of it…is unpredictable. If we hold too much, too close to our hearts…then we will always feel too full of every sort of feeling. Or probably every sort of feeling that we should not be feeling. Or probably some feelings that we should be feeling and some that we shouldn’t. Basically life can throw a lot at us and make us feel beleaguered and defeated. Or probably throw nothing at us and make us feel empty and deprived. What is the middle path? This is where an individual mind comes in. Only we, as individuals, have the power to decide which path we take and which path we allow ourselves to take. Only we have the power to decide which feeling should make us happy and which feeling should sadden us. Only we have the power to decide when to continue, when to move on, and when to stop. To allocate or give up these responsibilities to a second or third mind is shirking your moral, ethical, and spiritual duty as a person. Understanding the responsibility and accountability to the people around you is probably the biggest duty an individual is granted with when one is born. But with time, we tend to either forget this or not pay heed to it consciously. Once we begin to do this, I don’t think life can be twice as hard, as it feels at times.
To laugh and forget is not a dismissal of certain facts and truths of one’s life. To laugh and forget is to consciously remove the hurt, pain, or anger one feels. There might be times…when you know you are going to lose somebody forever…in times of death…the pain of which can linger for a long time…and you may never even realize how long it can linger and become a part of you almost. Laughing and forgetting will not work here.
Which is why, it becomes that much more important to do it for the rest of your life. If no other incentive works, we should atleast try and do it for the people around us. The ties that bind our souls to the people around us are forged in a space that touches you and yet can’t be touched. Respect that and laugh and forget.