Staying in the bubble

Sometimes it takes a friend or a situation to explore the inner child within ourselves.

Every Sunday morning my husband gets an SMS from his friend. The message is a thought-provoking quote. The first time I marvelled at the friend's erudition and spiritual bent of mind. My husband explained how it worked. “My friend has signed up for a service where he receives a meaningful quote once a week on his cell phone– all he does is share it with his near and dear ones.” The Sunday quotes became something we looked forward to as a family.

My husband would read it aloud and then we would discuss the philosophy behind it, pondering on how we can improve ourselves to be better human beings. Soon enough I found myself picking them up at random places and analysing them. Sometimes it takes a friend or a situation to get over our inertia and explore the inner child within ourselves. At times a rude awakening becomes the catalyst.

The other day I bumped into an old acquaintance after a long time. I could barely recognise him. After some desultory conversation the truth came out. His wife and children abandoned him and he didn't have much to look forward in the future. This was a far cry from the person I knew years back. A dynamic personality with a cheerful disposition, the man had a thriving business and enjoyed reasonably good health. What had gone wrong then? When we started talking I was shocked at his story.

“My business got affected because of all the tensions in the family. My sisters constantly interfered in my marital life and my wife decided to throw in the towel one day. I am a ticking time-bomb on the health front with diabetes, kidney problems and hypertension.” Whenever we met earlier, I remembered him quoting from the Bhagavad Gita about leading a virtuous life. Every encounter was an eye-opener.

Of course his words played in my mind for a good thirty minutes before I reverted to my usual self. Like others of my brethren, I too had “smashana vairagya” - a state of mind where one thinks dispassionately on the burial ground as he is totally detached from the world. But the moment we step out of that zone, we forget the lofty words that passed through the recesses of our brain a few minutes earlier.

How does one ensure that the learning gained when other people share their insights with us continue to remain with us? The happy feeling lasts for a short period of time. How do we convert inspiration into action? Each time the feeling lasts for awhile and then a water crisis at home brought me out of that bubble. Hopefully the next time around the bubble gets bigger and stays longer. 

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