Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Have to look up...

Ekhart tolle says this today:
'Death is the stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to die before you die and know that there's no such thing called death.'

There's a small puppy outside my door. It's a stray dog and one day when it came to our house, dad fed it with some leftovers. Since then it has stayed in our compound. The kids --my sister's son and daughter play with it, and my little niece can be coaxed to eat food only when the pup's around. It sometimes shits on our terrace and this infuriates mom. She blames dad for feeding it and also the kids for keeping it company. Two days back it got a nice beating for dirtying our terrace.

It's cold outside and the pup's curled up near the door. When i walk in, it shrinks further, anticipating a whack on its back. I whistle once. It opens up and starts jumping around, wriggling its tail in joy.
Somehow i feel good thinking about this pup.

What do you mean by 'Empathy'? The ability to stand in someone's shoes and feel what he feels-- understand him in his perspective!! Two posts ago, i wrote about a friend who fell from grace, and how i felt a wicked joy in some remote corner of my heart. How does someone feel when he slips down? I learn it first hand today.

My entire team gets a hike in salary, except me. My boss calls me and says that i'll not get a hike this time because of some past performance--he praises my recent efforts and promises that if this continues, i'll get a good one next time round, blah blah blah...I feel a pang however much i try to keep myself composed. Those who learn about this express their concern and sympathy and this gets on my nerves all the more. I try not to think of all my hardwork, my extra efforts staying late at nights, working on weekends....

Maybe my friend felt hurt and let down, similar to what i'm feeling now. His situation is different from mine, but the pangs and feeling of worthlessness must be the same. I know that there are a million worthwhile issues in this world, that people are dying everyday of hunger, disease, hatred--- that many people are without jobs, without dignity, without hope. My situation in life is a lot better than that of many people on this earth. In this enormous universe, where billions of galaxies are born and annihilated every moment, what's the big deal about the salary hike of someone living on a small speck called earth?

I wish i could think of all these and stay calm. I wish i could brush all of this aside and stay unaffected. I wish i were a saint--an enlightened person. I know that i'm not all these -- i'm just human.

Feeling a bit depressed. Will be fine soon.


  1. You will be fine, or so I tell myself a thousand times a day.It works some times, some time it doesn't.
    I am not a big fan of sympathy myself.I hate it even more when 'others' justify things for me.
    I don't know how it feels to be singled out like that.But I am sure it isn't a great moment.All I can say is each faliure is a stepping stone to success.So keep doing what you do best.I am sure one day you will reap the benefits of your hard work.

  2. The problem is, educatedunemployed, is that Vishwa hasnt failed. He has been doing his best, and working overtime. It is hard to feel valued and not to lose your self-esteem in such a situation. I am impressed that you both can take a step back and look at the larger picture. Loved the Tolle quote!

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  4. Disappointment can be a terrible experience. I have spent most of my life in “winning” situations: marrying the first woman I really courted; obtaining every job for which I applied; fathering two wonderful sons. Then my karma reversed: divorce, unemployment, and a son who no longer speaks to me. I came to be like the reverse of your puppy: I expected a pat on the head but received a kick in the groin instead.

    There have been times in recent years when disappointment has caused me to consider ending my life. Of course, I have not—and will not.

    Rather, I have sough to learn from my experiences and empathy is one of the lessons—a very bug lesson. I have always had sympathy for those in need, even though I never really felt or understood what they are going through. Now I can empathize with the broken hearted, the disadvantaged, the lonely.

    There is a book by Roman Catholic theologian, Henri Nouwen, entitled “The Wounded Heater” in which Nouwen says that we can only offer healing to others via our own wounds. I think he is right.

    Vishwa, I understand your disappointment and pain, but only through my own disappointment and pain. Yes, do remain calm. I believe that there must be some purpose in the disappointment you are experiencing—a purpose unseen and unknown by both of us, but a purpose that will somehow, in some way, will be beneficial to you.

    Shalom, my friend. Shalom.

  5. Edu, val, nick...Thanks a lot for all those words. They are very much valuable, especially in funny times as these, when you feel someone kicking you and you don't know who it is or why they kicked you.
    They also remind me that life is still green even after a storm and you can find humour and smile in almost any situation.

    Nick... You wrote 'Shalom' even in Jen's blog. What does that mean? I'd like to know--if you don't mind.

  6. “Shalom” is a Hebrew word that means “peace.” It can also be a greeting or a farewell.

    The “peace” it refers to is much more that absence or war or psychological tranquility. Shalom has connotations of wholeness of mind and body, contentment with life, and general well-being.