I used to be an avid blogger. I say this in the past tense because with the many professional & personal distractions (the most addictive & notorious being Social media), the focus & patience required for writing longer posts seems to have dimmed. Six posts in January alone & then absolutely nothing till August! Ergo, writing in long hand has taken a backseat. But as people who know me closely will agree, I express myself best in writing. And while it can never lose its relevance, the written word sure is getting rarer by the day for me. So nowadays whenever I really feel like writing something, I put digital pen down to virtual paper as soon as I can before that feeling begins to ebb. So here we are, on the “same page” again. Once begun, it must be seen through to the end. Or so I tell myself.
On the surface, I’m itching to tell you about two fantastically satisfying journeys of detail & discovery I’ve made to Italy & Himachal Pradesh this year. However, deep within, what really occupies the throne of my mind this very moment is the reality check that we need every now & then to hold up a mirror to ourselves, to get us back on the right track. This isn’t some philosophical mumbo-jumbo and I’m not the monk who sold his (non-existent) Ferrari. I’d rather keep that monster of a car if I had one, but I digress. Perhaps the toughest thing to do is to realise what you’re doing wrong when you’re doing it, accept it and course-correct yourself. That is the basis of our evolution, it is what separates the wheat from the chaff. Now, the definition of right or wrong is a subjective matter dictated by internal & external influences but there are certain universally standard precepts which are the embodiment of good. One doesn’t necessarily need to be a philanthropist to be a good person. Rather, that desire to change oneself and/or the world for the better, to live a life of purpose must surface organically and can in itself elevate one to a higher purpose. However, that desire is often lost in the blindfold of complacency, resignation or pure hubris. Let me give you my very own example. I have strived to be a better person, friend, son and I'll be the first to admit that it hasn't always been enough. Am I a better person with that realisation? Perhaps. I am more sensitive to the world around me than I was before. I sense the countless things we need to be thankful for. I always try to put myself in the shoes of others before forming an opinion but every time I think I’m a better person than my fellow man or woman, I surprise myself with the cruelty, indifference and judgmental attitude that I can be capable of. I complain about things but am rendered mute when I realise I’m equally responsible for what plagues me by either contributing to the malaise or by not preventing it in the first place, even if it is beyond my control.
I tell myself on such occasions that it’s never too late to learn, accept and change for the better. To not only help myself & my close ones but also my fellow men & women, absolute strangers if the occasion presents itself. To not be a sermonising goody-two-shoes, but rather a person who leads by example without having to prove anything.
Thoughts equal actions, and actions will always speak louder than words. If we can be better people, then why shouldn’t we invest in it? I hope I’m listening, and so are you.
In a similar vein... "What do you really want to be? Famous for the good work that you do, or famous for the sake of being famous?" A friend once asked me, and it got me thinking.
Singer, actor, host. These are titles that I have today. But it wasn’t always so. I had an aptitude for some of these skills from the beginning (singing & illustrating, thanks to Dad). The others (hosting & acting) were embraced as opportunities presented themselves & were honed over time. But complacency set in and impeded the once rampaging, Juggernaut-like thirst for knowledge & self-improvement. Some long term interests like writing & illustrating were relegated to the background once the more public aspects of the job started taking precedence. Somewhere, the growth-rate slowed exponentially and the radiance of creativity diminished.
I am good, but I should have been better. Am I overthinking all of this? Perhaps, because the yardstick is very relative. Set the bar high enough and you tend to undervalue your own efforts, mighty as they may be. Practice Makes Perfect, and if what I do is my passion, then that will have to be the inexhaustible fuel that occupies every nook & cranny of my mind, body & being and negates any obstacle & distraction that life can throw at me. There is much to learn & much to be, and that realisation is what keeps me hungry, antsy, insecure even, and on my feet. So what do I want to be?Why, famous for the good work I do, of course. I’m greedy like that.