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Stop Treating Life As a Set of RoI

A street play on Raja Harichandra catapulted a reticent M.K Gandhi into a Mahatma. A commonly recited Bible verse inspired and elevated an unknown Anjezë Gonxhe into a Global Mother Theresa. We would have come across the same story and the passage multiple times in our lifetime, but somehow it failed to create the same […]

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A street play on Raja Harichandra catapulted a reticent M.K Gandhi into a Mahatma. A commonly recited Bible verse inspired and elevated an unknown Anjezë Gonxhe into a Global Mother Theresa. We would have come across the same story and the passage multiple times in our lifetime, but somehow it failed to create the same profound impact as it did on these two noble souls. Was it the power of the story or the way it was conveyed? If it were just the story, we would have had easily & rapidly cloned and created Gandhis and mother Theresa making this world a much better place. Unfortunately, it’s not the case, then was it the way the story was conveyed? I certainly believe today’s digital platforms, with their splendid production value, can deliver a far better immersive storytelling experience than the terse viewing of a street play in pre-independent India. So it’s neither story nor the delivery; then it’s all about the way the story is received. Akin to a seed falling on the wayside and getting trampled by walkers to the one which falls in fertile ground yielding manifolds in its season. It’s the response of the receiving mind that makes all the difference.

So the question lingers, how do we bring this transformation of mind?. Though we start with a straightforward unsophisticated mind, over time, it starts rationalizing and builds complex survival patterns that obstruct and obscures flow of simple idea. It gets stuck midway, and the tsunami of distractions mutates the idea to the point that it gets lost without we cautiously being aware of it. How do we abstract, isolate, and eliminate this layer? In simple words, how do we unlearn and relearn to acquire back our naturally endowed simple child mindset?

This Transformation requires a shift from the intellectualization of the thought process to spiritualization. Let me make it simple, consider a simple incident of slipping down in the street. The natural way the intellectual mind operates is to deduce the magnitude of pain and evaluate treatment options and recovery. Pain is the central theme, and treatment gets added to the orbit, whereas viewing through a spiritual lens makes one think it might be a narrow escape from a much more horrendous situation. Here gratitude is the theme, and healing is the outcome. I am not professing the concept of cherry-picking positivity from every unpleasant scenario; rather, it’s the unshaken blind faith of divine providence and its unconditional love to support us through every adversity of our lives. 

Science has taught us methodologies and measurements; as long as these entities remain an offshoot, it augurs well; it becomes toxic when the number game becomes an overwhelming obsession. This addiction becomes so deep-rooted that we vehemently deny to look at anything and everything, which doesn’t result in a significant Return on Investment (RoI). This is the genesis of the nemesis of our inner immaculateness. Continuously fed by the social campaigns engineered by the media moguls, this tumor metastasis deep down into our psychology. Finally, it transforms us into an emotionally numb mechanical cadaver that dichotomously classifies life’s flow into pangs of success and failures. The beautiful epiphany of life gets diminished into a curated collection of RoI.

Once on-boarded into the RoI hamster wheel, we keep chasing a mirage of dopamine to give us a high. We seldom realize that destination is a shifting goal post and a distant utopia. Slowing down or stopping from this rat-race is invariably regarded as a sign of weakness, and we keep running and, in the process, slowly shifting our dreams of building a Cinderella castle onto the shoulders of our offspring. Irony is at the moment of inflection; enticed by yet another colorful seductive squirrel cage, we readily push our progeny into it, thus converting a sprint into a never-ending relay race transcending generations. That’s the vileness of RoI based intellectual philosophy. 

In simple childlike life, rationality takes a back seat, a warm hug from your dear one, cuddling of your pet, sight of smiling baby, nostalgic recollection of school days, the aroma of your favorite dish, pat on your back, etc. they don’t carry an RoI tag. Still, those are the simple things that illuminates our quivering spirit and restore inner peace. It brings joy to the soul and smiles to the faces. It’s simple, it’s stupid, but it’s the REAL life, a bundle of goodness that generously offers keys to the kingdom.

By overcomplicating life as a set of RoI rules, even if we gain everything, it will be at the expense of our pristine soul; such hard-won victory will be pyrrhic in nature. Remember, happiness is something that comes into our lives through doors we don’t even remember leaving open.

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