Journey to becoming better human being – 13 : What stopped me from doing it before?

Journey to becoming better human being – 13 : What stopped me from doing it before?

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Dr. Parimal Merchant

On returning from the last meeting, I sat down and tried to examine my deep feelings. I realised I wanted to be nice and caring with people around me. Next I thought about my interactions with them and how I could do so. Finally, during the week, I tried to put it into actions in my behaviour with them. That was feeling, thinking and action all aligned in one direction.


It was a wonderful experience to be nice and caring with people around me. It was so easy, effortless and fulfilling. I wondered what stopped me from doing it before. In fact, why would anyone indulge in contradictory actions at all? Obviously, I proposed that as a point of discussion in our next meeting.


“The clue to what you do has to be in the heart of what you believe.” What a poetic prose! But what does it mean?


“Every human being tends to achieve happiness. So, he does things according to what he believes will make him happy. This is obstructed by pain and suffering. Pain is physical and its removal depends on the development of science and society”


I could understand that with illness or hunger one can’t be happy. As science will develop, cures for the illness will be found out and as society will develop it will take care of the hunger of the people.


“Suffering is mental, and its removal has nothing to do with science, society or prosperity.”


Does it mean that everyone could be suffering? But most people would not accept that they suffer. Perhaps the word suffering is too much. Yet, almost all admit of having uneasiness, problems ad stress. In fact, I have noticed that some people believe that suffering is good. They believe that human being is born to suffer. We idolise the person who seem to have suffered the most. And we attribute it to human nature. Could these all be our beliefs? And as is said above, could this belief be driving our behaviour?


“Pain could cause suffering and suffering could cause pain. Thus, they affect each other too. But what matters the most is to understand suffering – the mental unease – and how to deal with it.”


“Now coming to our original question. What drives people to contradictory actions? Suffering drives people to do contradictory actions and such actions in turn increase the suffering. It is a spiralling vicious circle.”


I try to make sense out of this statement. If I am feeling insecure, I will become selfish and that in turn will lead me to think and act away from my deep feelings of helping others. If I am jealous, how can I be nice to the other person. If I am resented to one, how can I be kind to him?


I recollected the incidence of my home I had already recounted earlier. That morning I had become wild when my mother got few minutes late in giving my lunch box. Later I did feel awful and I had leant to recognise the register of contradiction in myself.


Why did I get wild? In hindsight, perhaps it was because of my fear of getting late or perhaps the embarrassment of keeping a friend waiting who had come to pick me up. That is the fear of the future. Perhaps it was my assessment of her carelessness. That is the issue with perception of the present. Or perhaps my recounting of it having happened earlier. That is the issue of memory.


I recollected discussion in one of earlier meeting where we talked about the three ways through which one can suffer. Memory of the past, perception of the present and images of the future. It could be one or all of them that drove me. I was uneasy and if I admit, I was suffering. And that in turn made me become wild. An action that later made me feel awful about myself, increasing my suffering further.

 Now I understand the vicious cycle. Suffering drives me to contradictory actions and they in turn cause in me further suffering a spiralling vicious cycle indeed. That is spoiling my life.

 That being the case, it is important to learn more about suffering and how to overcome it.

 Food for thought and need to learn more. A step ahead in my journey to become better person indeed.

Continue reading more about Journey to becoming better human being part- 14

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