I was reading the Harry Potter series for the nth time and I read this somewhere there: “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
Something, very interesting happened y’day when I went to the rest room in my office. We have two toilets inside the rest room. When I went in both of them were empty and one girl was standing in between. I asked her which one she’s going inside so that I can use the other one. She smiled and told me that is what she is confused about :D. She can’t decide which one she wants to go in. I waited for a couple of seconds and told her “you go in there and I’ll go inside the other one”. She complied. I wanted to laugh. I was thinking what if there was only one toilet available. There wouldn’t have been any confusion. And wouldn’t life be simple if, at any given point in time, we have only one option. Then will there be any guilt or regrets? I do not know as it is not so many a time.
Mulla Nasruddin is chosen an honorary magistrate. The first case appears. He hears one side and declares to the court, “Within five minutes I will be back with the judgment.” The court clerk could not believe it — he has not heard the other side! The clerk whispered in his ear, “What are you doing? Don’t you see a simple thing? You have heard only one party, one side. The other side is waiting, and without hearing them you cannot give any judgment.” Mulla Nasruddin said, “Don’t try to confuse me. Just now I am absolutely clear. If I hear the other side too, then there is bound to be confusion.”
At any given point in time, we have choices; to do or not to do, to speak or not to speak, to act or not act, to choose this or that, to drop this or that…. Life gives us endless potentialities and choices. Yes, it’s our choices that make us what we truly are! It just means that I am what I am because of my choices. And I have the freedom to select a different kind of behavior next time.
This is exam time and my son, as natural to any kid of 8 years, wants to play and not study. I am not there to make him read as I reach home ver late and very tired. So far, I have never bothered about whether he studies or not because he’s been scoring very good and even if he scores a little less, next time he catches up. But this year, his scores have been very erratic (either full marks or zero 😀 – “amma I know the answers but I just didn’t write!”) and so I decided to teach him myself. He wants to play with me and his choice is not to study. My pressure shoots up as I shout at him and I end my day miserably. This went on for a week. Then I thought. Why am I spoiling my mood? Yesterday, I decided not to shout at him. I decided I’ll be patient no matter what. And yes, I managed to do it. This morning he asked “amma, why didn’t you get angry yesterday”. I told him “I decided not to spoil my health by getting angry. But do not think this is going to be my standard behavior – I might or might not shout but you have no choice but learn”. The thing is he knows all the answers but he leaves his answer paper blank. His choice :D. I can only hope he feels like writing when he has a test. It becomes hilarious after you try to react differently.
It’s worth seeing the face of others when they expect you to behave in a way and you do the exact opposite. You know once I told my husband “I am angry with you”. He asked me why. I told him there is no reason. I just want to be angry. If he wants a reason he can offset it against anything he does in the future which is supposed to make me angry. He just looked at me (I know, I know. He knows it too :D).
There was a time when I was very rigid. I used to walk on the same side of the road always; go to the same shops, cross at the same place, eat the same things…. These days I just behave as I feel at that moment. . The same question if asked at different times, I might give different answers. For the same activating event, I give different behavior different times. This just looks like a play. And there are times when I look and laugh I myself for taking me so seriously.
I may regret some of my choices. But not for long because:
“Whatever tears one may shed, in the end one always blows one’s nose. —HEINRICH HEINE, 1797–1856