In a world of chance is there a better and a worse? We yield to a stranger’s embrace or give ourselves to the waves; for the blink of an eyelid our vigilance relaxes; we are asleep; and when we awake, we have lost the direction of our lives. What are these blinks of an eyelid, against which the only defence is an eternal and inhuman wakefulness? Might they not be the cracks and chinks through which another voice, other voices, speaks in our lives? By what right do we close our ears to them? (Susan Barton)”
― J.M. Coetzee, Foe
I ran into Dr.Naik after ages, he was previously working with Johnson and Johnson and today he is one of the partners at Tulip diagnostics. He often tells us, that clean your house put your house in order and then tries to straighten the garbage next door.
I always thought of people who put others before themselves as noble, service before self I are all things we grew up with, but over the last five years of my life where I have been healing myself from body and mind self abuse, I wonder how much of service before self is about others and how much it is about running away from the self.
Often where we need to make it about others we are so focused on us, just observe ourselves at a conversation, it is more about “Ms.X is a draconian teacher” so all that she says I view with the filter,”See I knew she was draconian” and all my reaction are “I want to look good/whatever to this draconian person.” Or we are focused on, “Haa, I know this about topic Z – what a good boy I am the world needs to know” so I am waiting for Ms.X to deliver her words so I can deliver mine.
As an exercise to gather my thoughts on this topic I decided to think about others I realized there were others who mattered and other who did not matter! To surprise I could not visualize, people as portraits, but I could doodle, my connect with them, as I stared at the name and the connect, it occurred, I had to think of each person, and it was not about them, but it was the connect. It was then possible to hold them in a prayer.
Reflecting on those connects that was not very comfortable, there was a pattern of assumed communication, maybe this could happen in any relationship, we make an assumption that others know what we think, and that we do not have to say what we want. They are going to do what we want because they know us so well. If they don’t do what we want, what we assume they should do, we feel hurt and think,”how could you do that? You should know.”Again, we make the assumption that other person knows what we want. A who drama is created because we make this assumption and that definitely takes a toll on the relationship.
We begin to learn wisely when we’re willing to see world from other person’s perspective. The trick is that as long as we know who we are and what makes us happy it does not matter how others see us, the moment we cease to worry about how others see us, we are free to acknowledge, accept and listen to the other.