Madhur, a very good friend, wrote on facebook: ‘The best learning in the world is from understanding life. Most people never learn.’
This happened to one of the more agreeable updates on facebook… most updates by most people are frivolous forwarded messages and so when something like this comes along, it tickles the thought processes within you. And I’ve always trusted Madhur to come up with ideas and expressions that are extremely thought-provoking.
Understanding life, I think, begins with understanding self… and a lot of us spend our lives, grow old and die without even discovering what we wanted to learn. So I do agree that most people never learn… I mean it is perfectly understandable that this would happen. However, this is because they never really know what to learn. You learn only when you know what to learn because the world is so full of experiences that they will generally overwhelm you if they were to come at you all at once.
So the first vital step is to discover what we want to learn. I am not talking of just students here… you can easily transpose this little magical theory of mine on to any kind of relationship. A student-subject relationship, a management situation, a marital state… the first step is always to discover what we want to learn.
This happens only once we are open to establishing a relationship with things that we know nothing about. For instance, a writer needs this sort of courage to leave writing and get into politics on a whim and then if the relationship is acceptable, decide to stay on. This writer-turned-politician can now say that he has discovered what he really wanted. Let’s take another example of a bureaucrat leaving a high-paying comfortable position to become a journalist… or a doctor leaving his profession to become an actor. These are all real-life examples of people getting out of a known zone and entering an unknown zone at great risk and finding their meaning of life there.
This theory is very hazardous though and requires a fair bit of sanity and control before being adopted by anyone. A person with a lesser understanding of such a theory has a high probability of ending up hopping from one reckless relationship to another and becoming a harlot of destiny! However, if properly understood and then applied we’d have less number of restless people around us.
Let me explain this theory from different perspectives. Most students tend to choose subject without even ever knowing so many other subjects. I know a lot of people who take up science without knowing history and then cribbing decades later that the only subject that makes any sense is history. We’ll have students who don’t end up studying a subject without having any feeling for it. So according to my theory, one must expose oneself to a more than cursory study of different subjects to allow intuition to do its job.
The same can be applied to jobs or even marriages. There are no stuck up people or employees or personalities… it is just that the wrong people are clubbed together or the right people haven’t reached the right situation yet. Yes, the secret here is to REACH THE RIGHT SITUATION or spot. We’ve all heard of great artists or poets or novelists who ‘accidently stumbled on to what made them famous’. Well, you need to be ready to stumble on to unknown and unexperienced people, things, jobs, services etc. Try out everything… and have the guts and the will-power to move on if a sustained relationship troubles you. This is the only way forward. Keep doing it until you finally get to clasp the job, hobby, habit, or person reflecting what you are… and this is a two-way relationship. Always. Unfortunately, not all of us manage to reach this stage in our lifetime.
For those who are forever seeking a two-word mantra or concise secret to this dilemma of understanding life, here they are:
01 November 2014