It’s lighthearted, seriously!
His face was blank. How blank? Well, as blank as the white space I was asking him to read! The poor chap was struggling to fathom what I was saying. What reading between the lines and what meaning, he was all at sea. Taking a pause, I looked at him and realised he was too young to understand the point I was trying to make. Here was my 11-year-old cousin taking a discourse from me on futility and hypocrisy behind certain religious rituals. Validity of the topic apart, how is a kid expected to react to it but go blank? Of course, he was a victim of my serious thinking.
Each of us victimise someone sometime or the other when we passionately talk about something. And we often get passionate about topics close to our hearts. Little do we understand that are we getting into the preaching mode and also, aggressive at times unmindful of the listeners’ mindset. Do we take a few things little too seriously and think too much? Trust me, I’ve seen people analysing even newspaper cartoons. Instead of enjoying subtle shades of one with a child as its central character, they wonder how the child doesn’t grow up over the years! Trust me, they do it.
And working with a newspaper, we often run into this ilk. Some retired guys are eternally worried over everything, right from a non-functional signal to a probable slowdown! That’s not all. Many of them have a say in everything; Obama’s fiscal policies, Indian Parliamentary affairs and guess what, housewives’ attitude, they always have a comment to offer. A gentleman, who arguably reads each and every word of our newspaper, once got back saying we had published an article containing no news! Bewildered, when we sought details, he was taking about a pointer we put to invite readers’ plaints. Hiding our giggles, we nonetheless admired his concern about ‘productive’ use of every corner of our newspaper! Now I know why an overseas paper carries this interesting appeal: “Please don’t get back to us in case you notice some mistakes. We print for everyone and there are some, who are always looking for mistakes!”
To me, we are prone to looking at negative sides of things, not deliberately though, because we get too analytical and serious. As a saying goes, everything, right from science to religion, enters the realm of philosophy as it matures. Gosh! Some of us get philosophical much before we mature! They have strong opinions, unknowingly impose them on others and start getting nagging or autocratic.
It is said in jest about psychiatrists and consultants. Take your problem to them, they will understand it and complicate it further. Maybe, the problem is not so serious. Similarly, many issues may not be so severe and acute before we apply our views and thoughts! This over-seriousness syndrome surfaces in day-to-day matters as well. We may end up spending a sleepless night thinking about getting up early the next morning.
Let’s not approach seriously the problem of seriousness. Our approach may make the matter more complicated. Take it easy. Let it be the mantra. Enough. I need to put my pen down before I get serious.