Wednesday, March 26, 2014

May It Be

As I age, am I getting better and more secured as a person ? I  hope so but I do not think so . I am still learning and I do not know better.

While we must know that wisdom and maturity are what makes aging less daunting, how we feel about ourselves is defined by our sense of fulfilment. Every single thought can affect how we act and may lead to irreversible consequences that affect not only ourselves but all those around us. Every step we take and everything we do in our daily life matters. How we think can definitely affect each step we take in reaching our goals or simply to get through the daily grind.

We say things in a moment of anger or frustration and they can no longer be retracted. Aspersions boomerang, lies not only deceive, they insult one's intelligence while criticisms anger and flatteries delude. Sometimes no amount of  damage control can amend or rectify the effect and impact of the things that had been said, acts or omissions that had been committed. 
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 You could be on your best behaviour for days, weeks or  months and even years and then you do something that is totally incongruous with how you normally behave, your parents, your spouse, your family and those close to you will find that they have misjudged you or that you have gone awry. You might have just wiped out all the trust they had in you and they feel cheated after  all those years of loyalty and devotion to you.

I believe there are multiple facets to a person. How we portray ourselves to the outside world may largely depend on how we want the others to see us. How we see ourselves is perhaps influenced by what we think how the others perceive us. I  find that the longer I know somebody, I  find it even harder to decipher the person's intentions or describe the person's character.

Human relations are definitely complex as each one of us has our own insecurities. Not everyone possesses the same sense of humour and sensibilities and we are inclined to form our views and perceptions based on  our  predispositions and what we know.

You may think that the society is oppressive when you are not in the position to negotiate what you really want, you feel that life is insufferable.  If you think you are a victim, your brains start to emit all the negative responses and they will eventually become who you are. In the long run you will very likely become resentful and bitter. Life can never be perfect because that is life. Happiness is devoid of meaning if you do not choose to be happy. 

 On Beauty written by Zadie Smith is a satire about two feuding families and their respective family lives. Although they are living across in two different cities from both sides of the Atlantic, their paths somehow cross by reason of the academic world which the patriarchs of both families share. The Belseys and the Kippses have completely different political ideologies and views about affirmative action and art. Howard Belsey is a liberal academic who originally hails from working class London  and is married  to an American African and settles in a fictional town called Wellington near Boston. Monty Kipps  is a right wing conservative who does not believe in affirmative action. When Belsey’s son, Jerome happened to intern in Kipp’s office in  London, ‘he had liked to listen to the exotic ( to a Belsey) chatter of business and money and practical politics ; to hear that  Equality was a myth, and Multiculturalism a fatuous dream; he thrilled at the suggestion that Art was a gift from God, blessing only a handful of masters, and most literature merely a veil for poorly reasoned left-wing ideologies.’ 

As the story continues, the long suffering wives of both archrivals strike out a belated friendship and their children’s lives somehow intertwine with one another. Once  again we are reminded of the complexity  of human relations, the fragility of human emotions and the vulnerability of the human heart. How  messy life is  even in the world of academia, liberal or otherwise.

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