Be The Change You Want To See….

Mahatma Gandhi said this to people to self – empower themselves rather than cribbing about things being bad or not how they should be. Everyone, yes, everyone around wants things to move in the way they desire. They want other people to adjust to their whims and fancies, buses/train/traffic to move according to how they want, work to be over as they wish, want their favourite sports person/ team to perform as per their standard…etc. etc. Does that happen? The chances of all this happening is next to never…Still, people would proclaim…’my way or highway’… Till now, I thought this statement is useful in evaluating any system (political/social/education etc.)…However, when I twisted the cube, I found it is a very potent statement when applied to relationships.

The-way-I-want-to-see-you-behave-and-react forms the biggest form of expectation and cause for relationships to survive or succumb. It all starts with finding common behaviour in early stages of the relationship. After the relationship is stable, the commonness remains, and you are single-handedly after the uniqueness of the other person… You want your partner to speak, behave, react, laugh, cry, expect, imagine, dream, spend, save, invest, interact and conduct exactly the way you deem appropriate….quite a recipe for disaster I must say…

Why do we do so? Why we become less tolerant of other’s unique abilities and their method of reacting in a situation? Why cant we simply accept that two people will never react in a same manner to all the situations. We are just too engrossed to change the person’s behaviour and identity in the name of love…Here’s what I think why we do it,

Comfort Zone/Status Quo: People just don’t seem to bother to come out of their comfort zones and would like to have everything on a platter… They don’t make an effort to understand their partner’s personality, Instead they want their behaviour superimposed on them, so that they can live an easy life…

Additionally, most of us love uniformity and symmetry….everyone who does not behave/react in same manner as us/maintain certain acceptable norms, is labelled as too random and unstable…Its difficult for us to change rather than asking someone else to change…and we always try to go for easy path..:)

Ego & Conflicts: If two people are put into a situation, they will react in their own manner resulting in conflicts. Many amongst us are not game for a healthy argument… We avoid getting into confrontations with our partners. Even if we get into one, we want to force what we want on them, so as to justify to their egos…”Why do I bend and forego my habits…Why should I change if he/she are not willing to change?”…

Dominate and Dictate: People wish to dominate and dictate how their relationship should move ahead… They derive a certain kind of power kick out of this…They set the relationship rules for the other partner as their personality is overpowering enough… They become the ‘Atlas’ carrying the mantle of the relationship on their shoulders…soon, the dominant partner decides everything in the relationship…. Actually, if you look deeply, you will have a dominant partner in each relationship… I feel sex and age have nothing to do on who will dominate….

Prince Charming/Dream Girl: We all nurture dreams of landing that dream girl (DG) or being rescued by the prince charming (PC)…some people go a little beyond and also decide how they should behave….:) But, life is not utopia, where we get ideal matches…imperfection is reality… To give shape to what we think, we start our quest to improve our partner’s imperfections…and try to decide the right/correct way to behave…

Case of boosting self esteem….may be…

Comparison (True for People with or without PC/DG): Just because your friend’s boyfriend/girlfriend act in certain manner, you expect your partner to behave like them…’Look at them, so lovely they are….’ you say…underneath, You think…Wish I had a boyfriend/girlfriend like that…You know that can’t happen (or can it!!!)…so, you issue diktats for your partner….and start chasing an Image and forget to appreciate the qualities your partner has…

Previous Relationship Experience: Relationships end, expectations remains…We often carry the experience of previous relationships (Not only love relationships, but other relationships like with parents, friends etc.)…and expect an encore….We expect the same or more respect, attention, right etc. in the new relationship as we used to enjoy in previous one…so, when we don’t see that happening, we try to bring the same magic in our existing relationship…

Well, tolerance is what is eluding us…We have our opinion on everything but if some one has different opinion, we find it difficult to take it in right spirit…If all of the above is done to save the relationship, why not try to change your self to accept the person the way he/she is..Why take the easy way out to see what you wish to see…

A little more tolerance please…

A Thought on Happiness…

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self contained,

I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,

They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,

They do not make me sick discussing their duty to god,

Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,

Not one kneels to another, not to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,

Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

Walt Whitman

What We Have, We Don’t Want…What We Want, We Don’t Have….

Once upon a time, there was a boy – Hans. He was a poor boy who left his mother and worked for 7 years for his master. After 7 long years, he wished to see his mother. He said to his master – “Master, my time is up; I must go home and see my poor mother once more: so pray pay me my wages and let me go.” The master gave Hans a lump of Silver as big as his head. Thus, Hans set off on a long journey back to his mother. While travelling, he found the lump of Silver to be heavy and exchanged the Silver for a horse to complete his journey. The horse was too wild for him, so he exchanged it for a cow. The cow was old and stringy, and gave no milk. He exchanged the cow for pig. That pig was a stolen one, so he exchanged it for a goose. In the end, he exchanged goose for a grinding stone to start earning afresh – as a knife grinder. As the stone was very heavy and he unable to carry it, dumped it down a well. Hans returned empty handed to his mother.

This is a summarized version. you can read the full story here.

Hans kept exchanging his possession to get the things he didn’t have. He always was in awe of what other’s possessed. Its paradoxical as whatever he wanted to have, as soon it became his, he set his eyes on a new thing which he did not possess.

Don’t you think there is a little bit of Hans in all of us? We are chasing far too many desires and wants. As soon as they are fulfilled, we stop caring for what we have, and create a new list to possess. Think about it – after getting that coveted job, MP3 player, Mobile phone, laptop, Car, Clothing etc. (list can go on and on…), have you ever told yourself – this is it. I am satisfied with this and I don’t want an better/expensive version. There are two schools of thought working here –

First school of thought says that, well, this paradox of wanting-having- wanting is the prime cause for dissatisfaction in our lives. Its a materialistic race that we are getting ourselves into. All the marketing by sellers/media is creating hollow dreams of possession among common people.  Often, possession is linked to status in the society and friends circle. Those who caught in this web, will keep hoarding things and would not ever be satisfied resulting in inferiority complexes and mood swings.

On the contrary, other school of thought says that wanting is the prime objective of human kind. People seem to get a direction and keep setting fresh, harder goals for betterment of their lives. The phenomena of desire is what keeps them ticking. There is nothing in comparison of a goal/dream achieved. That is how people have done inventions and discoveries. Without, this ‘want’, many of us would not live a lifestyle we afford today.

I don’t wish to be preachy and take side of any school of thought. I would leave it on you, wise people who understand what is good/bad, right/wrong for them. I just wish to say that from experience, that most people (including myself), almost 99% of them, start with being the first kind and end and end up being second. That doesn’t mean being first one is wrong and the other is right. It is just that standing  at a given situation, we all use previous experience and some gut feeling to decide between appropriate and not so appropriate. We all wish to become ‘been-there-done-that’ personality and gain respect from those around us looking at us in awe with their mouth wide open…

What will you choose to become is entirely on you…After all, Hans could have taken home all his Silver and would have lived happily ever after….

If only, life was a fairy tale….