Saturday, May 02, 2009

You Are Who You Are, Not What You Do

I found this valuable piece while going through my unread DailyOM mails. It is a must-read for everyone who is in the habit of judging and anyone who feels judged, even if it means being judged by their own selves. It’s called You Are Who You Are, Not What You Do. You can read the article here.

The article talks about something I believe strongly in – Inherent and Omnipresent goodness. No person is good or evil as such but if there is any such thing as benefit of doubt in this case I would go to the extent of saying that all people are good at the core. Every person is trustworthy. When trusted and put faith in, each one of us has the power to shine and become epitomes of goodness.

We all come with certain inherent personality traits and everyone’s personality traits may not be something within personal limits of tolerance. The concept of being on the same wavelengths comes into play here. We might not be able to get along with all the people we come across in our lives. We don’t have to. But more often than not we end up labelling these people with the tag ‘bad’ – that colleague who gossips a lot, that acquaintance who is too proud, that person who can never be clean and organized enough…that is something we should try and refrain from doing. It may be easier said than done but it is ultimately about realizing that spiritual difference between a being and its actions.

The same principle needs to be applied to our own selves too. We often hold a lot of regret in our hearts about a mistake that we committed in the past, especially if it involved hurting somebody else. We need to realize that maybe at that point we did not know better. And that mistake was cardinal in teaching us a life lesson that would serve us well later in life.

We do not become bad people just because we committed a mistake. Swami Vivekananda had said, “We become wiser through failures. Time is infinite. Look at the wall. Did the wall ever tell a lie? It isalways the wall. Man tells a lie-and becomes God too.”

Only people who are making mistakes in life are really going somewhere...because there is no formula to live life by and that leaves the entire laboratory of life open for trial and error. If you made a mistake it is a healthy sign that at least you are moving. You can always correct the course of your ship. But you need to make peace with yourself and forgive yourself for any perceived mistakes you may be holding on to. Take the lesson and let go of the deed.

Our wisdom in the present, however little or much it may be, is determined by the deeds of the past. And if you have played very safe and not made any mistake in life so far you need to be wary since the chances of making one in the future increase manifold. So don’t be afraid of making mistakes. It is part of form you have taken…human.

You are not your mistake. You are just a person who performed a certain set of actions unfavourable to yourself or to someone else in the past. That may be the truth. There is nothing good or bad about it. The bigger truth is that you are a beautiful being. And that is perennial.

3 Thinkers Pondered:

Vibhushan said...

An extra large dose of goodness this article was... and I liked it. Its something I have loved to believe always - people are inherently good beings, though it becomes increasingly difficult to continue doing that and also be the so-called "street-smart" in the world of business.
Everybody has his/her own sets 'goods' and 'bads', and setting up a limit of tolerance for them makes dealing with them so much easier. How nice a place this world will be them! Idealism ... at times is good!
Thanks for this interesting thought.

Satish said...

The mistakes we make are not the failures...but failing to get over them and starting afresh is definitely is .........


Anupama said...

Hey Vibhushan,

Interesting thought about inherent goodness and street-smartness being at odds with each other...something to ponder on for sure...thanks for the comment...

Hey Satish,

Thanks for the comment and for the acknowledgment twice over of my thought - once by you and once by mention of your neighbour's message :)