Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Different Shades of Life



As a child I learnt to view the world in two colours, either completely black or white, perhaps because I took literally the ideals and values my parents wanted me to grow up with and imbibe. It is only now, on reflecting on the past nearly forty years of my life that I have realised that life is made up of many shades of grey which have the strength to hurt, shatter and confuse. Being accustomed to seeing everything as black or white can be very comforting indeed as it all falls into clear cut categories, no confusion there but that is so unreal!  

Not only are people sometimes good and often not so virtuous, events too stubbornly fail to fall into clearly demarcated classifications! Oh what a travesty of life, it just refuses to throw up cut-and-dried answers to all the inevitable questions that almost continuously bombard my mind! The why’s and how’s just refuse to resolve themselves and others don’t just seem to understand, leave alone help me find my way through the tortuous labyrinths of the blind alleys of life!

Throughout my life, the black and white aspects of this world and the people who reside in it have either kept me in high spirits or at the other extreme, very despondent and confused. Over the years I have begun to think the negativity of this world far outweighs the positivity and I find myself discouraged and disheartened and in the most wretched spirits many a times.

Sometimes, with the state of affairs I find the world in, life just seems too difficult, full of challenges, obstacles and hardships.  So for many days I find myself overwhelmed and disturbed with the circumstances and people around me. On some days life just doesn’t seem worth all the trouble I take to run around doing my daily routine, toil, compromise, not knowing where I am going or what and why I am doing what I am doing.

And then there are those moments that show you how wrong you are.

I read a news report today that showed me it’s how and what you see that makes the difference.

A Pakistani boy dies while saving school from suicide bomber” read the headlines of a report. All of 14 years, he saved his school of 2000 children. He grew suspicious of a man trying to gain entry into the school premises. The pure selflessness and innocence of the boy made tears well up in my eyes. My heart goes out to this courageous boy who had barely begun his life. It was his time to play, learn and have fun and not become a hero at the cost of his life.

It depends on the shades you wear on your eyes that make you happy or in whatever miserable place you want yourself to be in. The blacks, whites, the reds and the greens are all in our eyes and minds. The world is a happy place if that’s how we see it.

A little baby in the arms of its mother, the naughty laughter of my sons, a quiet walk with my husband when I come back from office, a cup of coffee with a friend, a friend whom I can talk rubbish with, colleagues I can laugh and share lunch with, the smile of a stranger, the quiet half an hour in the auto when I can read or listen to songs, watching movies and television shows; admiring nature and its bountiful gifts; cooking with my mom, whatsapping and connecting with classmates whom I haven’t met since I was with them in school…oh I can go on and on.

It’s those moments, some stolen, some quiet, some filled with laughter, some silly, some very serious that make each day feel worth it and make me get up in the morning looking forward to what the day may hold.

There’s so much really that life has to offer. It’s just that we somehow forget about what we have for the things we don’t have but desire. We can get those too and in that lies hope and a future full of possibilities; endless possibilities of a world which has the infinite capacity to keep all contented and at peace with themselves.