When we meet a stranger, we try to know more about him. Some of us try to know him only by observing him, many others make some enquiries to know him more. At some point, after a few interactions, he no longer remains a stranger. Gradually, our inquisitiveness about him drops to a very low level, unless something very strange about him is revealed. We can never claim that we know someone full well.
We are always ready to review our understanding of the others whenever anything unusual or unexpected about him becomes known to us. Our relationship with others never remains uniform; it fluctuates with respect to a reference line, and the reference line is ‘our expectations’ formed on the basis of our understanding about him. In general, we do not shift the reference line of our expectation, or if we shift it, we shift it only slightly.
What about the reference line of expectations, we draw to measure our own behaviour towards others and also ourselves? We do not want to hurt ourselves; hence, we allow, very leniently, the reference line to fluctuate with our behaviour.
There are many ways to be happy with oneself, but two are most prominent. The first is, not to allow our own behaviour to fluctuate from the reference line of expectations. And, the second is, to permit the reference line float with our behaviour. If we opt for the former, we can change our surroundings. Then, if we know and internalize how to draw the right reference line, we enjoy the bliss of creativity and become well settled in happiness.
The way that prompts us to leniently allow changing the reference line, is the way of rolling stones, where the nature of the stone characterized by the absence of ‘life’ is more important than the act of rolling. No one can say that a stone can ‘experience’ the happiness out of its act of rolling.
The essence of happiness is in the ability to create, the ability to bring about the right change.
PROMOD KUMAR SHARMA
[The writer of this blog is also the author of “Mahatma A Scientist of the Intuitively Obvious” and “In Search of Our Wonderful Words”.]