As I began the journey, one of the things that I realized was the meaning of the word ‘meaning’.
In the journey, I had a casual discussion with a friend on the topic of love marriage v/s arranged marriage. A point emerged that it is not love marriage or arranged marriage, it is what you do after the marriage that is important. The point was baffling. Is it that, often we get lost in the secondary aspects and miss out the ‘essence’? If so, is it a point of only a debate or it has to do with everything we do in life? That led me to explore the ‘essence’ of what I was doing. I started doing that with asking a question – ‘what for?’
In those days, I was a student and had a pattern for studies. In last one month, I will withdraw from everything, buy books and study for the exams. I was never a topper but would get above average marks. Applying my new learning to this aspect, I asked myself ‘what for’ am I studying? The immediate response was that I am studying to pass the exams. As I thought, I realized that I was not happy with my answer, so I explored more. The next answer came was that I was studying not only to pass but to get good marks in the exams. I was not happy with even that answer. Passing exams and getting good marks seemed to me necessary but not sufficient. Exploring further finally I got to the essence – I study to develop my mastery in the subject. If that was the essence, was I doing justice to it? That realization changed my approach to study. Since then I have never studied for exams. I study to develop mastery and then you ask me anything you like.
I started work and took up a job and soon the same question haunted me about my job. What for am I doing the job? The immediate response was that it was to earn salary. Not satisfied, I explored more. The next answer was that I was doing it to support my family. I was not happy with even that answer. Earning salary and supporting family seemed to me necessary reasons but not sufficient. Exploring further finally I got to the essence – I am doing the job to develop my abilities. That realization changed my approach to job. Since then I have never looked at the watch while on the job and never restricted myself to only my tasks. Since then I have approached every job as a way to develop my abilities. Looking back, I can vouch how it has contributed phenomenally to my formation as I am today.
Same question on friendship – what for? To pass time, to enjoy, to have company etc. All nice, necessary but not sufficient. Then emerges the essence – to help each other to grow in life.
What about marriage – what for? To have companion, continue family line etc. Again, all that nice, necessary but not sufficient. The essence is a relationship neither of possession nor of parasite. Not of a tree and creeper. But a relationship of complementation – two independent trees, human beings, supporting each other to grow in life.
Soon I realized that asking the question, ‘what for’, and exploring the essence, was the meaning of the word ‘meaning’. Understanding the meaning would always bring about a radical change in my approach to whatever I was doing.
I realized that I am moving ahead in my journey of becoming better human being.