Mon, 15 Jul, 2024

My Way Or The Highway

By Shibesh Duwadi

Human beings are very similar to each other in so many different ways. We all have human bodies and human minds, we all have human thoughts and human feelings. We all think alike in one way or the other. We all strive for similar things in life. Yet in other ways, we are all completely different and unique. No two people are truly alike. No two people can ever have the same experience of life, the same perspective, the same mind. Somewhere between these two — our common humanity and our unique individuality — lies personality which differentiates one human being from every other.

Personality refers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. It is no secret that there is an incredible diversity of personalities and behaviors among human beings. That is precisely the reason why the term “Good/Bad Personality” is so subjective. As said before, humans have different tastes so what one person may regard as having a “Good Personality” might be a bad one in someone else’s eyes. Taking a common problem in the current generation as an example, a girl who is very sociable and likes to party and get involved in everything is considered to be very "outgoing" by her colleagues. However, her elders might think that she is very reckless and foolhardy. What one sees as a great trait, others might see it as a bad one.

When you look at the world as it is today, the most common trait I see people have is "My way or the highway!". There is very little curiosity involved in this. People seem to leap to conclusions without really taking another's perspective into consideration.

Everyday we see politicians screaming at each other, refusing to compromise even a little with their opposition. We've got vegans accusing the meat-eaters of murder while the adamant carnivores come out preaching that our body needs meat based on our ancient DNA. Some gym regimes promote "no pain, no gain" while others claim that pain is not only unnecessary but also harmful to the human body i.e meditation and herbal treatments. My point is that, no matter what the topic is, fashion, health, entertainment, etc. people always stop listening to anyone else after they've laid down their perspective on that particular topic. After that, it's over. Their thoughts are final. Nothing else is right.

My question to you is, have you ever done this in your life? No matter what explanation you try to give, the answer to that question will always be Yes. I know, it feels cozy and comfortable to hold onto your belief and never have to question yourself. Right? However, that comes at a deadly price.

Think about it, a pastor who feverishly preaches about the dangers of committing sins always ends up committing several of them himself. A rich and famous politician who constantly swears by his "family values" is the one who ultimately gets caught in extramarital affairs. When humans swing too far in one direction, it causes the deepest parts of our mind to expose us to the other side which we so desperately deny.

The key to excellence is to always follow your beliefs, however, let everything challenge it. Look for people who challenge your beliefs. Keep an open mind. There is no "One right path" to excellence. The path you're on can be the path to enlightenment if you try hard enough. Make sure you understand that each and every point you come up with, will always have an opposite point. Both the points are correct. You just have to choose the right one to fit the current situation.

Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.”

― Isaac Asimov