Backwards is forwards

Human beings are creatures of habit. For most of us, each day begins with a set of routine tasks. Children get ready for school and others get busy, gearing themselves for the day’s work.

Each one’s timetable is laid out and one rarely thinks of deviating from it. Like trains that move on fixed rails, our day-to-day life runs on preconceived lines. Customs too help to keep things running smoothly.

The cheery ‘good morning’ or ‘hello’ is what we greet each other with, but how many of us stop to think of what the words really mean? Our beliefs too work in a similar way. We worship our Gods in the manner prescribed and we are content with doing what custom has decreed.

All this is a time - saving, convenient agenda of course, but following it rigidly, without let or go, can throw us into a rut. Instead of possessing a routine, we might, on the other hand, find the routine possessing us.

It is essential therefore to stop now and then, cast a backward glance and ask ourselves a few questions. Does my occupation bring me satisfaction? Is this what I really want to do? Am I enjoying what I do? Does it make a better person of me?

It may be that you are so work – obsessed, that you have set aside or almost forgotten what was once close to your heart – music, travelling or keeping in touch with friends. It could be that that the thrill of making money has you so much in thrall that you neither spend it nor enjoy it.

Taking a pause and reflecting allows you to take mental stock of yourself. It shows you where Life has taken you, how you got there and where you would like to go.  

No one of course can get final answers, but the exercise can highlight both the wrong and the right moves you have made, so that you change directions if necessary and become more of who you really are.

‘The unexamined life is not worth living,’ said Socrates, the great Greek philosopher. He was willing to live up to this belief at the very cost of death.  Accused of heresy for encouraging his students to think for themselves, he was asked to opt for prison or death. He chose the latter. He believed, as the reasoning mind tells all of us, that ‘without the examined world, life would not be worth living’.

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