I wonder if this is the truth of life… I have noticed that the feeling of loss is more ‘felt’ than the feeling of gain. As in, whenever we gain something in life, may it be a new job, or excellent grades, a new house or even a new relationship, it doesn’t alarm us. Gains usually sink in. It just sinks into us and we take it as a part of our lives, something which was meant to be. One never really feels it the way it needs to be felt. Some don’t want to, they fear celebrating gain may make them loose it to soon or bring in a bad omen. People just don’t feel gain with all the happiness and joy that it commands; they think they deserved it, always.
At the same time, loss is alarming, usually a shock, unexpected mostly. It slaps you on your face and your entire being goes resisting it. They are harsh and more painful. What can be accounted as loss? Losing a job, not making it to an interview after three successful rounds, missing a flight, a sudden death of someone close, a break up mail…You think about it, rebel, and spin a story of how it’s all wrong and such a thing cannot happen to you. In fact, losses remain in your memory engraved much deeper than gains.
This natural human conduct stems from the eternal desire for self preservation. Self preservation somewhere has to do with a certain amount of selfishness. We like to think that a little more for me will do no harm. All that I have got and will get is what I deserve, and I do not deserve loosing anything.
Inherent selfishness you may call it; human beings seek only to satisfy their own needs, motivated solely by personal interest. In economics, this mental model even has a name, it‘s called homo economicus–that defines man as a being whose production and consumption is motivated entirely by his own material gain. This was the basis for the theory of ‘rational choice’, which affirms that ‘rational’ people will always choose what benefits them, even at the expense of others. However, what makes this choice seem natural to some cultures is not its rationality, but rather the fact that the process of acculturation and socialization from early childhood makes this their first reaction. People raised in other cultures will not necessarily have the same inclination.
Again, loss pinches you only when we lose something which we so dearly were hanging on to. No one would be shocked or alarmed loosing something they always wanted to get rid of. One will be rather happy, getting rid of it/ them naturally. That is gain in fact; gain of so called peace. Self preservation again…
Going a bit deeper… The human race boasts of cooperation and altruism. Even those in its real sense are ‘Selfish’. Ponder on that!
Alright then, the prompt is ‘Open the first photo album you can find — real or virtual, your call — and stop at the first picture of yourself you see there. Tell us the story of that photo.’
So, to be all honest I had to close my eyes and do an “inky pinky ponky” in the phone gallery and I bumped into this snap.
This was in Malayasia and the ladies in the snap were my team-mates from the last Company I used for work for, back in India. As you see, we got clicked while getting ready for the real click. It was a trip I forced myself into. I was… I guess, the last one to get the Visa cleared among the team of 30 who went for the trip.
The trip was essentially organized for the annual award winners. My team and I used to organize the award ceremony and all that supplemented it. As a part of the process, it was necessary for a few HR team members to accompany the winners. The interesting thing was, that time around, mostly all of us in HR made it to the trip because of last minute cancellations by actual winners. In order to not let go of the ticket slots wasted, we fitted in, a clever wicked idea by our travel coordinator. She knew we deserved that break for all the slogging we underwent to get that award event up and running. We used to call it ‘Retail Oscars’, I guess it’s still called so.
Good bargain, the trip was when I look back though at that time I was quite unsure of joining the team. I used to be a crazy employee and usually took too much on my plate and suffer later from work indigestion. An employee any manager would dream of having. A little drama and I would get stuck and make decisions which will be in favor of the organization at the cost of my time and health sometimes. However, joining that trip was just for me. I knew it was the last time I would get a chance of catching up with my team mates at a personal level. I had worked very closely with each one of them form the time the team was formed. We were called the Retail HR team, a part of Corporate but catering solely to the Retail wing. Things were going to change soon. A couple of them and me were moving to new teams.
Now when I look back, I am seriously happy about deciding to go for that Malaysian escapade. We had a good time, though we missed one of our team-mates throughout, a lovely lady who couldn’t make it because some odd Visa issues. But for that, it was a time memorable.
The entire episode taught me something too… at times you need to think about yourself first:)
And so said a forgotten page…
“Often notes scribbled in pencil gets erased in time, the next time around use a pen.”
Have you watched the movie Notebook? No, it’s not the romance I have in my head right now, it’s a condition the movie depicts… loss of memory… otherwise known as ‘dementia’.
The last few weeks learning about various life conditions has been quite a realization and reaffirmation on the fact that one should live each day like the last one…We were focusing on conditions of physical and mental disabilities and the social aspects around it. It’s very easy to stand on the other side and empathize with such conditions but to live that life, only they know what they go through and some are rendered too confuse to know … The care givers often get frustrated as they ruin their social life and often want to get back to their so called normalcy, which is understandable. It’s torturing to imagine your loved one is crippled or progressive getting crippled.
What caught my attention was Dementia. We got to see many videos on it and I couldn’t stop my tears flowing down. There was this whole feeling of how dear memories are and the thought of losing them forever is scary.Here is wiki definition for the ones who don’t have an understanding of dementia. Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause long term loss of the ability to think and reason clearly that is severe enough to affect a person’s daily functioning. For the diagnosis to be present it must be a change from how the person was previously.The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease (75%). Except for a few treatable types in most cases there is no cure.
Waking up each day and trying to remember your name, your existence is terrible. The purpose of life itself is lost, it’s an unimaginable state. Imagine wandering around looking for something which you know is very pertinent. But then, you can’t remember what you are looking for…once the idea is lost, everything is lost and you have to wander around trying to figure out what it was that was so important earlier. Everything including yourself seems like disappearing.
As I said earlier, the one who is left with the affected is all the more in pain. A part of note in one of the books says caregiver must supervise over the degeneration of someone he or she loves very much and may do this for years and years with the news always getting worse. It may not get not better anytime… they must every few months learn to compensate for new shortcomings with makeshift remedies; must negotiate impossible requests and fantastic observations; must put up sometimes with deranged but at the same time very personal insults; and must somehow learn to smile through it all. Caregivers must be able to diagnose a wide variety of ordinary ailments under extraordinary circumstances. Imagine the person you love the most suddenly upset about something but completely unable to communicate the problem or even to understand it himself.
Just as death affects the people around and not the dead, dementia too does something similar.
Note: I picked up a few movies to watch to understand a little more about the condition apart from all that reading which I was doing and ended up with a list which I am glad to share. You may watch them, if interested:
- The Savages (2007)
- Aurora Borealis (2006)
- The Notebook (2004)
- A Song For Martin (2001)
- Away From Her (2007)
- Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch (2001)
- Firefly Dreams (2001)
- Age Old Friends (1989)
What is it with women and wine? I do not really know of the statistics but have noticed that generally women are okay to drink wine and may say a blunt no to beer and other hard drinks.
I was discussing with a new-found guy friend of mine and he gave me an interesting outlook to the practice. In his words, “Well I guess it’s because that’s the only drink that women don’t get guilty with”. Now I think that’s some truth there.
I shall park that thought and explain later. A more straightforward reason of women choosing wine over other drinks may be the taste. Beer is obviously bitterer and is less appealing to most of the women folk. At least in my case that’s the 80% of the reason. In a nice way, wine may mean different things to different women. It makes me feel classy, beautiful and health conscious. It’s good for skin and has antioxidants, so it’s like a twin gain for me. I get high and I get my dose of antioxidants, which is so needed for a 30 something me. That obviously doesn’t keep me away from occasionally trying and sipping other spirits. However, I will not deny that I do suffer a 20% of what he said.
Moving to the no-guilt-wine part… Now, the world I come from, women do want to drink or rather get high with a drink but this whole thing of social image, opinion building and culture keeps them away from beer and other spirits. This I am saying not out of assumption, I know of many who have confessed this truth to me. “I love getting high with some alcohol, but if I were to gulp in that whiskey, what would people think of me?”
So, in this party I go to, I see men with bottles of beer and women with lovely red wine glasses, happily drinking away. Now, the fun part is that most beer is 4-7% alcohol by volume and wine is 12 -15% up till 21% in fortified wines. So the fact is; those lovely wine drinking women are consuming more alcohol per ounce. So, what the hell is this social thing? Women…drink… ah!
Now the max they think they can move to is Vodka or Gin; but again a woman kicking back glasses of vodka or gin on the rocks every get together does send signals, doing so with wine looks more harmless and is unquestionably more socially acceptable. Isn’t that some hypocrite world out there? You and me in it!
“Which stage is the best in life”, I was asked
“The stage I am in” was my reply
Is your answer same as mine?
Well the secret is,
Whichever phase might your life may lie…
Cherish it for it may fly.
The things you do to craft that chapter,
Will that all be left, which finally matters.
A child finds joy in his newfound toy,
Teenager the same in fancying the girl next by,
A newlywed in his partner’s eye,
and a father in his baby girls smile,
Their kids settled gives content to aged parents like mine,
Prayer beads give peace to those in their last mile…
Description of happiness keeps changing
as life slowly counts its side.
Every chapter has its own charm,
So weave it with love, passion and joy
when you gaze at the one which was round the corner
and the one which just passed by.