In a quest to get to the bottom of the indifference I, so frequently, see in people these days, I went back some years on the Facebook timelines of some of my more perplexing friends. I was so heartened to find normal college lives, camaraderie with friends, venting of emotions without hesitation, in some cases, even with great aplomb in English that is broken at best, confessions of first loves & first heartbreaks. The honesty of such posts made me smile.
And then, I compared them to the same people I know now. Words fail me– there is a veneer so thick, a mask so snug that they themselves don’t realise that they have changed beyond recognition. They are no longer the carefree people they once were.
What makes good people change into such versions of themselves where their inherent honesty is buried so deep within that most people they interact with don’t even take the trouble of venturing in? And those who do, almost always, are hurt by their indifference and ‘it doesn’t matter to me either way whether you stay or leave’ attitude or ‘what is to like in a job as long as it pays the bills’ syndrome. This ‘made up shell’ might be their defence mechanism against the scourge of life but, in my opinion, it keeps them away from more meaningful relationships both personally and professionally. They have made walls that keep people out. These barriers might save them from some hurt along the way but are extremely limiting in the long run.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against change. Infact, I know, no person stays the same over the years. We change with our experiences. We grow. Sometimes we wallow too. This is LIFE. It breaks & remoulds the best of us. There is no human alive who hasn’t had his or her fair share of trials, turbulences, grief, heartbreaks & losses but we have also had love, friendships, family, triumphs, happiness and moments to cherish. It is upto us what we act on and become.
Whatever the world might say for them, I prefer people who wear their hearts on the sleeve. They may be considered naive, emotional fools who are susceptible to being hurt but they are honest and they don’t have a mask on. All the grief, heartbreak, failure and disappointment haven’t made them lose faith in the good things that life has to offer. They haven’t become sceptics. They may be annoying or clingy but they are themselves. They don’t have to deal with two sides of their own pschye- one who they actually are and the second what they let the world see.
In my experience, people who are indifferent to love or human proximity are the ones who need it the most. They just can’t bring themselves to acknowledge it when they have it or admit, even to themselves, the fact that they do need it. They are prepared to lose & suffer rather than accept that they crave love too. They stay in denial. Outward appearances belie the truths inside. They may be the coolest people in a crowd but hollow inside. They may be magnets for people to rally around, eat, drink, socialise and make merry but their connections are mostly always superficial & banal. When they can’t accept love, they can’t give it away either. After all, we cannot pour from an empty cup, can we? At the end of the day, one has to face oneself. We might not realise our loneliness unless & until we are fair and truthful to ourselves. The most important conversation would be how we answer our own questions when we look ourselves in the mirror. How happy we are, if at all, is how happy we let ourselves be..
Is it, then, justified to keep ourselves aloof for fear of getting hurt? Is it worth all the trouble to be recognised as cool and detached, when in the end, it might leave us with nothing concrete? Is being emotional so wrong? Can we not still have hope and faith in love and goodness of people despite our bad experiences?
In the end, it is all a CHOICE. Shutting our eyes to dangers doesn’t make them go away. It is what pigeons do. They close their eyes and hope that the cat won’t see them. It doesn’t happen that way in life. It is just that we don’t see it coming and when it hits us, it knocks the wind out of us and we get to blame fate, once again. Is it not more prudent, then, to keep one’s eyes open and let everything that life has in store for us, in- without fear of repercussions and anticipation of the hurt?
The most content people I have come across are those who accept everything with an open mind and heart, those who have seen and experienced both sides of life without changing the core of their being. They are the influencers not the impressionables. It is all right if we love or hate something with a passion, be it on work or personal front but we should try and make an effort not to be indifferent. It won’t be fair to us. We have one life. It isn’t proper for us to sit on the fence and let that pass us by, having not lived it one way or the other.
If it doesn’t matter, leave it. Move on. Don’t stick to it and hurt others too. Be it a job or a relationship. Be there. Either all in or all out. CHOOSE. Don’t do things half way.
Just a random thought!