January 8, 2009

Mental Burdens

Instead of wishing you all a happy new year, I wish you a good new day. It's really important to view each day as a turning point, for it is one. I'm sure we've all heard it several times by now -- that there's no reason to wait for January 1st to formulate your intentions and act upon them, but it really is nice to see that we still have some hope, that January 1st provides a stimulus for some of us. Eventually, however, I think it's important to trust in each new day's promise -- that it is what it is, a new day.

With that, I will briefly (seriously, I'm on a time limit here) talk about what I have been thinking about incessantly for the last few weeks. Now that I'm in college (oh yeah, I never mentioned that on the blog - I'll be at the Wharton School @ UPenn from 2009 - 2013 :), I have had a lot of time to really focus on myself, my living (as opposed to my mere existence), and I have tried thinking of what I could do to ensure that if I died any day, I would be totally at peace. This thought-process has recently been even more fired up as a result of reading Tuesdays With Morrie in my Philosophy class (great read if you haven't checked it out already; it's by Mitch Albom).

Now, I have always thought that I would be perfectly fine with dying at any moment in the last few months, but I really thought about it over my winter vacation, and I realized that I would not be. A few things have been holding me back from that peace, and part of my new intention with this blog is to resolve that peace. My character flaws are something I rarely acknowledge -- if I do talk about them, it is only how I used to make a certain mistake but now it's all cleared up. I really do think that part of resolving character flaws -- which could be a factor in being at greater peace with oneself and could very easily release mental burdens that one may have -- is acknowledging those flaws, not just to yourself, but to the people around you.

I am terribly arrogant. When I do receive honest flattery, I let it get to my head. That flattery allows me to think that a lot of my ideas and perspectives are "right," whatever that means. Then, I started reading the works of many people who have done much more than I have (which, really, is nothing. I just like to think I'm important), and I have realized that my arrogance, my inability to lay my feet flat on the ground and realize that I am but one of 6,600,000,000 people on this planet. This leads me to part of my intention for the rest of my life -- to acknowledge myself truthfully rather than simply the thoughts I consider to be more morally correct.

I just started reading Gandhi's autobiography today, and something he said in the first ten pages hit me hard:

I have gone through deep self-introspection, searched myself through and through, and examined and analysed every psychological situation. Yet I am far from claiming any finality or infallibility about my conclusions. One claim I do indeed make and it is this. For me they appear to be absolutely correct, and seem for the time being to be final. For if they were not, I should base no action on them.
Gandhi, a man who spent his entire life trying to step forward, trying to reach the ultimate goal, for him, of salvation, is so humble as to say that what he does may not be right. I, by no means, am saying that I am anywhere near him in moral standing, but I do think there's something to be learned from him, and that is that nothing is correct, nothing is final, and our perspective is always subject to change. I'm sure if you compared what I've written or spoken about in the last two months, it would be very different from a year ago. What I write about or share is what is most present to me at the moment, and because of that, it is always subject to change. Nothing is final.

Before ending the post before I go on for hours, I'll note a coming trend. Because my perspective always changes, and because this blog is, in strong part, for myself and my own experiments with life, I will be posting more frequently about what I'm thinking on an (almost) daily basis. I find that my thoughts are always shifting from one perspective to another, and I think it would be interesting to note a contrast in the lenses I view life through by posting on a more frequent basis rather than writing everything in a little black book that never really goes into much detail.

With that, I will take off. Enjoy your day, every day.

Stay real,

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