Chapter 22 - The “Know Thyself” conundrum!

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” - Socrates


What is wisdom? How does someone who lived in the 5th Century BCE know how accurate his quote would stand in today’s world? I hear people say that we have come so far, we have evolved so much, and our lives are so much better due to the scientific discoveries that have been made. I would agree to disagree here! ( Not the scientific discovery part! That seems to be going well! )


With the advancement in technology, I feel like we are becoming more and more like machines. Let’s read the sentences below and take a moment to think about whether I am talking about a phone or a human?


  • But you two have been together for a long time now, I think it’s time to move on!

  • I don’t think you can afford that! High maintenance!

  • If you want to fix this, you will need to invest time and money!


Let me stretch this a little further;


Different brands of phones may have similar features but their brand name determines their price. It’s expensive to buy a charger for the ‘bleh’ brand versus a ‘bleh bleh’ brand (not judging, just reporting!)


It hurts more to drop ‘bleh’ than to drop ‘bleh bleh’. The damage repair is more expensive. ‘Bleh’ needs more attention and focus. Losing ‘bleh’ can be more painful. The same goes for people these days!


I will make this blog a little more fun by just giving you pointers so you can do the categorization yourself!


Features:


  • Lactose-intolerant

  • The primary language of communication - English

  • Traveling in public transport

  • Eating in local restaurants

  • Brand-conscious

  • Using an expensive phone

  • Pair of shoe one owns

  • Locality someone lives in

  • Perfume one wears!

  • Vacation choices


The list goes on. These pointers will remind you of a person who fits a brand. You cannot tell them they fit a brand, because that would be judging and you don’t want to do that because non-judgment is what’s trending nowadays!! Isn’t it?


So what do you do with this information? You use it to “know thyself”! Because knowing about ourselves links us to the world outside. Knowing ourselves is like reconciling with our true selves which automatically makes us wise enough to accept the world as it is.


I am doing an experiment where I ask myself reasons for all my reactions, for my choices, for the switch in emotions that are triggered when I hear or see something disturbing. It is fascinating how much closer I have gotten to people just by noticing my own conditioning. I grew up with a mental-conditioning that a person’s feet are the most unholy part of them. If your feet touch a book, you say sorry to God. If your feet touch another human being, you say sorry to God. If your feet touch God, you’re doomed!


My conditioning didn’t just control my own behavior, but it made me judge the ones who didn’t follow my ideology. Again, this isn’t about right or wrong, moral or immoral, that’s not what I am hinting at here! I am trying to say that it took me some time to notice that I was pouring my energy into something that was not a universal fact! Asking “why” has proven to be a game-changer in my life. Try it out! Spend a day with yourself.


I shall talk a little more about my experiment in the upcoming blogs.


~ Anila Andezhath


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