Wednesday, July 08, 2009


The world is not respectable; it is mortal, tormented, confused, deluded forever; but it is shot through with beauty, with love, with glints of courage and laughter; and in these, the spirit blooms.

-George Santayana

I’ve had ( and have ) a number of friends who have a tendency to whine.

In my experience, these whiners fall into two categories: “Life sucks.” (the Seinfeld argument: “Everything sucks!”) or “Why does this happen to me?!” (the Narcissus argument).

I generally used to fall into the second lot while I was younger. There’s a reason the phrase “angst-ridden teenager” exists. I probably lived that phase well into my twenties.

But things have changed since then. Maybe as you grow older, you do get less stupid. Maybe you grow up enough to stop sweating the details and seeing the downside of everything.

As RK used to advise me ( I translate from Hindi and paraphrase) “We’re made for bigger quests in life. Stop worrying about these small things." I never really made it to the big leagues, but not worrying about small things seems to work.

In movies, they show someone who’s going to die in a week or two. Then s/he sees the light, picks up the pieces of a wasted life and starts living life again. But is that really necessary? Can’t one stop worrying about life and actually start living it without lymphosircoma of the intestine leaving your life in the balance?

I’d like to hope so. Check back here to see if the experiment’s working.


Ramanand said...

I have bouts of 'whining', and in both categories (perhaps in more!). I have to drag myself out of them. It's difficult.

I don't know about big quests, tho'; I'd be happy to know if I was even made for smaller quests! :-)

But yes, each day is an education - unfortunately, I (probably) get to do this only once, so I need to listen, learn, apply, and get on with it.

For me, the most difficult thing is to "do", rather than "think". It helps to know that others grapple with such issues too.

Ajay said...

I think paralysis by analysis afflicts the best of us. For me, these phases of gloom come and go. I'm learning to head them off early by facing the issue head-on. It can be unpleasant, especially if other parties are involved but saves a lot of grief in the long term.

javier said...
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Pankaj Sethi said...

A book I am reading defines that individuals are at one of the following stages:
Stage 1: Life sucks
Stage 2: My life sucks
Stage 3: I am great (you are not)
Stage 4: We are great but with an enemy (rival group or a company.
Stage 5: Let's change the world.

Most of the people I know oscillate between Stage 2 and 3 (including yours truly.) It is a rare treat to work with someone at Stage 4 and an honor to work with someone at Stage 5.

I think amongst the people we know their is one person who might be at Stage 5. Can you guess who am I thinking about? :)

Ajay said...

Interesting theory. But what about being yourself and not wanting to change the world. Isn't there a "I'm great, so are you" stage in here somewhere ? :)

(I'd want to be there. Changing the world is too much work)

I have a couple of theories on who the Stage 5 person may be :)

thedq said...

Im in the breathe deeply and 'This too shall pass so hang on' phase. :)

Ajay said...

DQ: All of us do methinks :). U2 comes to the rescue

"In a little while,
this hurt will hurt no more
I'll be home"