Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sparks


About judging others and staying balanced.

It is not everyday that you learn something new about yourself. Even if the discovery is not very gratifying. Most of the times it is not, they are embarrassing in fact. But the fact that you realized them makes for tremendous satisfaction. How that realization comes about is not always clear. Perhaps it has something to do with constantly pulling oneself out of the rut and being generally inquisitive. It might very well be just random. I recently had two such sparks of wisdom shine upon me. One at the deep subconscious level and the other at the very physical end of the spectrum.
Whenever i interact with a new person the first thing that i do is judge. Not a long complicated assessment of the human being in front of me, but a split second judgement coming from the most ancient part of the brain, telling me just one thing. Is this person better than me? If i think this person is better than me, then i become a bit defensive. I tread cautiously. If i decide, by whatever yardstick that my primitive brain applies, that i am better than the person i am talking to, then i am a bit more relaxed. I take it easy. Mind you, i am unaware of all of this while it is happening. It is only by chance that my mind wonders on to itself and i get to witness my subconscious in action. Perhaps it is a manifestation of the primal fight or flight instinct. Appropriately mellowed down by our safe (relative to a jungle) and secure (relative to hunting-gathering) lifestyle. So instead of a bearing of teeth and clinching of fists in readiness to fight i might just add a slight condescension to my tone, and establish my superiority (self-proclaimed). And instead of fleeing full blast i might nod my head a little more vigorously in agreement, and concede my inferior position. Perhaps there are some advantages to all this. After all nature in all its wisdom has given us (or is it just me?) this instinct. But i wonder how it would be if i could treat everyone i meet as my equal. At least to begin with. Give the benefit of doubt to everybody before i start judging them. It will be mighty hard.
Me: He is shorter, less smart, less intelligent perhaps. I can take him on.
Myself: No. He is your equal. Don't think you are superior to him.
Me: Wow he is a Rockstar!  I look like a pitiable idiot in front of him.
Myself: No. You are his equal. Don't think you are inferior to him.


I am a naturally left handed person. So any task that needs control, deft or power is delegated to the left side of the body. So much so that even seemingly symmetric actions like walking, running or riding a bike are actually done led by the strong side and the weak side kind of just tags along. Once you realize that your body is favouring one side, you can feel it almost every minute of your waking life. It is a feeling of imbalance. I realized it when i was playing the drums and my right hand just could not keep up with my left. Or when i am running and my left foot follows a perfect path while my right foot is just trying to keep up. Again there might be some evolutionary advantage in being lopsided  but i don't get it. I am trying to restore my balance one action at a time.
Brushing my teeth with the weak hand...not easy
Putting the key in a keyhole and turning....not easy
Eating with the weak hand....not atall easy

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