Saturday, May 27, 2006

Survival, Change, and Perfection

All due respect to the person who wrote this, but I don't think it's quite true all the time. Not everybody understands what "being content with oneself" means.

This chain of thoughts has been sparked off by a friend's Perceptions. He talks about why people like/dislike certain people, and that people constantly change themselves so as to be liked by others. Someone responded saying that it was necessary for survival. I disagree.

Survival is the basic instinct of any living being, right from single-cell organisms to the most advanced homo sapiens. But we call ourselves "advanced" because we differentiate ourselves from other beings due to our ability to "think" and "create" like no one else can. Survival is no longer the sole purpose of all our actions. Of course, it is a basic requirement to fulfil every other purpose, but, it is not the only purpose.

People live and die for various causes, some within and some beyond their control. The causes are an individual's choice. If one says that one is laying down one's life for (or to save) others, it is still that person's choice. Even if those "others" have asked that person to do so, the final decision is the individual's. Unless it's an unexpected murder ;-)

But let's not go to extremes. I was talking about changing oneself so as to be favored by others. How necessary/appropriate is it? It's again upto an individual how much importance (s)he attaches to being favored.

There are people who are rigid, solid, who'll never change, come what may. They'd rather die than change themselves, or give in to the beliefs of others, or sacrifice something that they hold sacred. Then, there are those who change every second. They try to fit in. So much so that they lose all that is theirs. In the end they do not know who they were born as and who they are now.

And then there's me :-) I change everyday too. Knowingly or unknowingly, for better or for worse. But the "better" according to me is not necessarily in agreement with what others think. It's according to what "I" think. This "I" is what I call the core, which never changes. The soul. That which I hold most sacred. It's judgement is what precedes every action. Often, those actions may not be rewarded with the desired result. Then, I look towards other ways of doing the same thing. This is what I call change. The judgement, or intention, is pure and it doesn't change, but the method I use to get a certain result can change. This change is what I call growth, or improvement. And this change is my way towards attaining perfection.

Perfection too, is not one thing to me. It is many things, simultaneously. I will not discuss what those things are. My point is, perfection, to me, is not one goal that I will attain someday and get a trophy for ;-) If perfection is a point to be reached, those who reach there will stagnate, will get bored. And I don't want to be bored. So I keep finding reasons (or things with regard to myself or my surroundings) to improve and ways to do the same.

So yes, my perceptions, my habits, and my behaviour have been, are, and will keep changing, but the "I" will never change. It does not need to survive; it exists even beyond death. "I" is the only perfect thing, and it is not bored of itself :-)

I like this better. It's my favorite!


moodymusings said...

there is a difference between drawing inspiration and competing or comparing .... the only person you compete with is yourself.
dont you think so?
(though I too am not sure about the respect bit by Lao-Tzu)

simplypallu said...

I agree that drawing inspiration is beneficial to us when we have things to learn from others. But we first need to draw comparison to know that the other person is/has something better/superior than what we are/have :) The point here is not to depend on the comparison all the time, not to be so obsessed with it that we don't pursue and realize the good within us.

Sphinx said...

You are bang on the target about the definitions of survival and change, but I'd also like to know what you mean by perfection. Now, that is one thing where people differ.

On a different note, you might want to enable word verification to avoid being spammed :-)

simplypallu said...

It's difficult to give a one-line definition of perfection, or what it means to me, but this should give you an idea...
If a thing can be done in three ways:
A being the easiest, fastest, but risky
B being easy, taking longer, but safe
C being difficult, fast, but safest;
I would choose any one of these, depending on the situation: factors like timelines, number of people affected by the risk, financial/emotional aspects, and so forth. (I really like analysing situations and people's reactions this way before responding/reacting when required, but often, there's hardly any time :-() At the end, if my conscience is clear and I'm happy, I know I've done the PERFECT thing, given the circumstances.
Of course there are times when I know I've not given the BEST I can, but then, that's my opportunity to LEARN and resolve not to repeat the mistake. Like I feel right now, I could have done a better job explaining this :D
When it comes to creativity (drawing/painting, poetry, craft/decoration) perfection is totally relative to my personal tastes :)
BTW I have already enabled word verification; thanks!

Anonymous said...

At the end, if my conscience is clear and I'm happy, I know I've done the PERFECT thing, given the circumstances.

I think this is what is most important. Perfection also lies in Perception. Something thats perfect according to you may not be perfect according to me. We make our choices according to what our mind tells us depending on the circumstances. We may later realise that that was not the perfect thing to do (depending on the consequences of your actions), but at least your conscience won't regret, since you felt that it was the most appropriate thing to do at that point of time...And again, i would repeat, its YOUR CONSCIENCE. Even if someone else tells you that your action was wrong, most of the times if your conscience had participated in your decision, you won't regret much later..irrespective of consequences ..

- Megs

simplypallu said...

@Megs: Bingo! Glad you got it :)

Rohit said...
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simplypallu said...
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Rohit said...
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