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Words of wisdom shared by a foolish man



By Siddharth Cheema

Today, the whole world is running after strength and power. The power to always be right and the strength to control everything. They want power leading to perfection, yet, in this rather bizarre situation, one has forgotten what true strength and foundation is.

This is further triggered with the heat of the materialistic objects. These seem like the pathway that steers us in good times. But, I want to emphasise upon a word here that is ‘Values’. The six-letter word has guided humanity and given it the strength to make the right choices for more than 6000 years.

Many people define ‘values’ as something that has been taught by their families. It strengthens their willpower and is the answer to what distinguishes 8 billion lives. It defines the character of a man created by good thoughts and deeds.

We all know the basic values that a man should uphold, but often we fail to walk on the path of righteousness. The reason? We lack the right mindset. The accurate mindset is what gives us the power of absorbing and adhering to the right values. The power of creating a right mindset lies in the power of apt decision-making. So, the first thing we must know is: “How to make the right decision in life?”

Today, this question bothers our youth. To make the right decision is one of the toughest objectives for them. Of course, right is subjective. Therefore, to truly make the “RIGHT” decision, one has to search for one’s own sense of right and wrong. ‘Right’ lies within oneself, is not polluted by worldly wisdom. Right lies in the innocence of a 5-year-old child.

But, the brain of a 5-year-old is not mature enough to make such decisions. It is innocent! Therefore, the purest and the strongest connection that a man can ever have to oneself is when s/he is a child. Let me give an example to explain this: We all dream of accomplishing something big in our lives when we’re children. Yet as we grow up, we realise that achieving what we desire is very difficult. It has many roadblocks, and hence, we decide to pursue something that is considered more ‘rational’. This notion may be developed by our parents, our experiences and ultimately the world.

Therefore, we tend to give up before even trying. I don’t believe that this is our true decision because it is influenced and polluted by a few past experiences. Hence, whenever one is troubled or in doubt or at the brink of making an important decision, rather than overthinking one should close his/her eyes and look for an answer in his 5-year-old self.

The decision will then be made. But the question of how one should achieve this and how one should keep working as hard in this ever-chaotic mountain of life still remains unanswered. Therefore, I now move to the second value, the answer to “How should one move forward in life?” The answer is complicated. We have to imagine our goals as saplings that grow within water i.e., our inputs, hard work that reaches its roots. As we are trying to provide this water to our tree, many droughts will come in our way in the form of tough times. Many animals will try to drink this water in the form of bad people and bad experiences. But, if we gather the strength and the perseverance that never makes us stop, only then will we be able to protect this water.  This water after reaching its destinations, the roots, only then will help grow from a sapling into a tree. The path would not be easy, but it would get brighter and clearer. The key is to keep trying.

Moving to the third question, this isn’t a “HOW” but rather a statement that we have heard plenty of times. ‘The art of NOT judging people’. It is not just because it is a wrong thing, but because it is impossible for a human mind to comprehend another person’s life.

There are approximately 8 billion people on this planet and each one has a unique story and is different from the other. They can be similar but never the same. And so, not one human brain exists that can comprehend even one of these. Therefore, we need to understand that judging people in a few minutes, hours or days is wrong because these few minutes, hours, days can never speak for their entire lives. Lives are composed of seconds’ long instances, yet have days’ long explanations.

We have discussed wisdom, determination, empathy and what not in the above-mentioned three values. But now, let’s move to the final one. The value of “Not thinking about the values above.” Now this may seem absurd at first, but we need to think about it. We should not call them values because these must become internal reflexes that are embedded within our very character.

These should be implemented in the very fabric of every move that we make in our lives. Our values are not something that are unchangeable. They are like a shield which when exposed to extreme heat or cold, protects our decisions and mind. But at the same time, when exposed to the right environment, they should be mouldable, changeable into greater or brighter thoughts.

Values are neural networks formed as infants that grow and deepen as we mature and gain more experience. Therefore, in the end, I would like to say that values are not something that are given but rather something that are acquired from the search of non-materialistic petals in the garden full of plastic flowers.