Do you know what time it is? Tag time. This one comes courtesy Harini and it’s about life lessons learned. I’d like to think I learn my lessons, don’t you? Coz the alternative is that I’m a dumbass. Hold the emails.
01. Parents are people too. I don’t know if any one of you have seen a parent cry but I can still remember the deeply unsettling feeling in the pit of my stomach the first time I saw my mom break down. Her sister had just succumbed to a long illness and she sat on the bed in the pale sunlight of a winter Sunday and sobbed her heart out. I couldn’t have been more than seven but it was old enough to understand that my mom wasn’t merely my “mom”, she was a human being with feelings and relationships of her own. It sounds incredibly simple when I put it like that, but think back to all the times you’ve treated/dismissed one or both your parents as authority figures rather than people with legitimate fears, feelings and failings. I guarantee you, we’ve all been there.
02. Admit a failing. Some people say this is an Indian quirk, the reluctance to admit ignorance or failure of some sort. That makes sense to me on one level because throughout one’s childhood, the punishment meted out to failure and ignorance, no matter how innocent, is vicious. You’re castigated in public, called names, held up to ridicule and made an outcast. Or perhaps it’s just my experience that the world is generally unforgiving to folks who betray for even an instant that they’re not perfect beings. But the thing is – if you’re not willing to say, “I don’t know what this means, could you explain this to me please?” then you’re never going to learn what it is. Asking questions is good.
03. Apologize. I don’t remember what I did, but when I was three, my favorite aunt wouldn’t speak to me until I apologized to her. I didn’t even understand what the word “sorry” meant but I knew it required a certain humility. It was the hardest thing I’d done up to that point (spoiled princess that I am) but I did it. “Sorry” is not a dirty word. But you have to mean it. It’s almost become punctuation these days, the way “thank you” has. Try meaning it the next time you use it or simply refrain. It’s incredible how self-aware it can make you.
04. Manners are important. This sounds like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised to see how many people think manners are circumstantial. If you spend any time on the internet especially you’re likely to come across folks who might be the nicest people on the planet offline but hook them up to the internet and you get an instant douchebag.
05. Listen to music. It’s good for the soul.
06. Karma is real. And it’s coming to bite you on your ass. It doesn’t matter which religion you follow or don’t follow. As a human being you know what’s a nice way to behave and what is not. And when you do something that isn’t right, you take that knowledge with you and eventually it tells on you. The wicked might flourish like palm trees but sooner or later someone is going to set up a smoky chimney right next door and choke you with soot. This is true.
07. People outgrow their friends. It happens. Sometimes it doesn’t and I hope this doesn’t happen to you because it sucks either way – whether you feel like you really have nothing much in common anymore with a friend who was once the center of your universe or whether your friend feels that way about you. In either scenario you lose out. But it happens. It’s sad when it does but it’s a fact of life.
08. Litterbugs aren’t nice to know. If you treat your city like a garbage dump, what’s your life like?
Okay, that’s all I got. Pretty good for a twenty-something I think. This is an open tag – go ahead, take it up and teach me something.