Lately, I’ve been waging several battles in the limitless confines (an oxymoron, if there ever was one) of my brain – or rather – my mind. Personal issues, relationships and associations need analyzing, understanding and proper responses. Too science-y?
In simple words, I’m coming to a point where I need to understand the value and worth of relationships amongst people. Whether it be parents, relatives, friends, colleagues… how do I assess people, how do I behave with them? What makes me like them and respond positively? What turns me away from others?
What hit and really horrified me, about myself, was how I was coming to associate the ‘good’ with material possessions and great ‘looks’. You’ve got a good car, you’re cool! You own a great big house, that’s amazing! That automatically means, if you don’t have a good car, a good house… you’re not worth any attention or association.
Most would confess to thinking along the same lines once in a while and they’d also call it pretty normal, or in accordance with our nature, as human beings, to seek out comfort, luxury and what pleases the eye. In other words, whatever comforts our five senses, is perfect!
What we forget is what our five senses perceive are nothing more than that – only perceptions. These pereceptions are then integrated in our brains with other ideas, past experiences and preferences to give the final picture. It is that final picture which we analyse to give the correct response. So it isn’t what our senses perceive but what our minds evaluate that is important to us. And the good news is, we can always alter the final picture according to our views and opinions on life!
Honestly, I figured that out five munutes ago and if you’re laughing at that being ‘so obvious’, you’d better know that there are scores of people who don’t figure that out untill their hair turn white – and some never understand it anyway. So what good does this do to me, understanding that what appears is not the entire truth of the matter? It does a world of good, certainly.
Firstly, wordly success and owning material possessions is not the idenitifying mark of a good person, a good friend to be with. Sure, it’s great to have a good car and a decent house is everyone’s dream but that’s not the end of it and that’s no basis to judge anyone.
Then, the looks! This goes especially for those who’re seeking life partners. Good looks are NO (with caps) guarantee of a good human being and I’ll vouch for that anyday, having too many experiences in the bag to think otherwise. Yet, when we meet a person who doesn’t fit our mould of ‘perfect’, we’re ready to dump (excuse the word) him/her at this first step. Physical features should then be towards the bottom of the assessment list. What if your idea of perfect is “good looks – funny – optimistic – kind – loyal” and you’ve meet someone who’s all that except perhaps that his looks are not your idea of perfect. If you turn down this friendship, you’re losing out on all the other qualities that were actually important.
Another way to look at this would be to start with your own self – what if I am not acceptable to another person? What would happen if people start assessing me by looking at things I somewhat lack, instead of the great qualties that actually define me? In my own case, I find many such areas where I’m definitely not on the top… in fact, I don’t fit my own mould of perfect – how could I expect others to?
Once you start thinking outside this crazy, superficial box, you’ll see how open the world has become. There are approximately six billion people walking this Earth and without looks or material possessions getting in the way, I’d say there’s lots to chose from!
More than anyone else, I hope this teaches me a lesson not to judge people by their appearance or the famous ‘first impression’ but rather to understand that in the long run, what’s going to matter is whether I’m a better person through their friendship, or that I am able to enjoy my life fully in their company. That’s what is important and that is something that good looks alone, or a car or a house alone, can never fulfill!