Many months ago, I was reading a book by Viktor Frankl about meaning of life. I guess we all go through that phase in life, when suddenly things look purpose less and you become disgruntled with your day to day life. In his book Viktor has quoted Nietzsche – He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how. A fairly powerful line and it would hit home for many of us. The”why” in the quote struck me, but in different way than the author might have intended. Now, we all know that you cannot get answer to all your whys. A wise man has once said, at least your one “why” would remain unanswered. That’s how life works.
When I look back at my life, the picture isn’t very shiny. The gloom and disappointments has made me ask myself- Why? Why, I do what I do. It helped me uncluttered myself and I was able to make sense out of this and sort out priorities for myself.
I used to read a lot and without giving much thought about what is getting into my head. Couple of newspapers, online reading, books and what not. I realized may be I am getting a lot of information but am I getting any wiser. Now, wisdom and knowledge is different and we all agree on this. I use to feel fatigue and I wasn’t enjoying it. Then I started to become more alert and started reading with some discretion. Knowing facts and data is important to prove your point in an argument, but in day to day life why would you care so much. These newspapers, TV channels are constantly bombarding us with information. This information overload is not going to help us much in our day to day life. Ask why you are doing this. This will give you some answers. People in urban India has suddenly developed ear for music it seems, our life has been surrounded by enough music then we can handle. People are actually dying because they are not alert while commuting and walking. You need to listen to yourself, but you don’t want to. You kill your inner voice by listening to more music. I know from my experience, that silence is not easy, because you are face to face with yourself and answerable for everything going through in your life.
Long ago, i read in a blog a line and promptly noted it down- Read, listen and watch widely but select from only the best. There is too much good stuff out there to waste your time on anything but the best. By casting your net wide, your chances of picking up treasures improve. Didn’t value it much that time but now I try to adhere by it. I started listening Indian and western classical music. I am still nowhere near to understand it completely, but I have listened to some of the work, I would otherwise have missed. Couple of week’s back, while commuting to office I was listening to songs in i-pod. And, I am big fan of certainty in-general and try to avoid surprises, so my i-pod is never in shuffle mode. I choose what I want. I selected a Bhajan sung by Bhimsen Joshi, and I was in a bad mood that day, But when is started listening to it I enjoyed it. I realized that day, if I can still enjoy a Bhimsen Joshi Bhajan at 8:30 AM in a troubled week day, there is fundamentally nothing wrong in my life. I can take it from here and move upwards. It was liberating. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t asked for best in music.
Now I must say whatever is written here is my thought and we all will be having different ideas and opinions and truth for one almost never is truth for other. We all are different human beings and so is our truth and reality. But I would reiterate the fact that this 3 alphabet tool “Why” has helped me in more ways than i can imagine. I am now at-least trying not to sleep walk through life, which I think is the worst thing anybody would do to his life. My progress may not be very visible, but I feel I have taken a start and would do well eventually.