Tip of the iceberg
Megha Bajaj exhorts us to refrain from judging others and be patient and understanding in our relationships by cultivating empathy
A picture is worth a million words. This one did for me something that long discourses and huge books have failed to. It also happened to come at a time when I am involved in writing several biographies about eminent people living holistic lives across the globe. The more I have interacted with all these people from different sectors, the further I have realised how little we know about people and how quick we are to judge them.
The social media age complicates things even further because we suddenly have access to more information and believe we really know others when this is far from the truth.
I fell prey to this myself. I was interacting closely with a person on Facebook. She seemed to have it all—the perfect life, the perfect marriage, and kids who looked like they had just stepped out of Vogue Junior. Based on all I could see about her life, I started forming certain opinions about her and even got into a partnership. However, as time passed us by, I realised how mistaken I was. The one whom I believed would be a source of strength to many, needed strengthening herself. She was more vulnerable than anyone I knew and needed help at many levels. It was then that I realised how much of our judgment of others is based on assumptions and how we really need to go in more slowly and gently with relationships to ensure it’s mutually nourishing for all.
Having experienced similar situations from the other end, when I have been questioned and judged by people who actually have no clue where I am coming from or what a day in my life is, I realised the immense need for all of us to create a much more patient and compassionate world.
That woman we just gossiped about at the PTM for her unkempt appearance could be the sole breadwinner for the family.
That man we labelled as ‘someone who just has it all’ might be nursing a chronically ill mother at home.
What do we know?
What do we really know?
Every person comes with a story to tell. Some parts are beautiful and frothy, others dark and gory. Each day, each experience is shaping them, changing them, as it is doing for us. Can we be a lot gentler and patient in our approach towards others, just the way we would want them to be towards us?
Another important realisation for me is about renewing perceptions. We feel someone is a certain way. We decide that they are that way. Days go by, months roll past, sometimes even years, and we still believe the person is what they used to be. Life has its own way of levelling each one of us. It has its own way of transforming us. What makes us think the other hasn’t undergone a metamorphosis just like we have?
It would be so much better to see others and ourselves as a flowing river rather than being cast in stone. That would allow us so much freedom to keep knowing, growing, and not get stuck with our own definitions.
Isn’t that so?
An award-winning author, film-script writer and poet, Megha is an eternal seeker at heart. She also empowers people to write and get published through her online writing workshop. You can read more on www.WonderofWords.org.
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