There’s a self-destruct button in each of us. And without fail, without exception, each of us will press it at least once in our lifetimes. We may do it gradually or we may do it all of a sudden, but press it, we sure will. The only way to shift from a mode prone to self-destruction to one of intelligent living is to practice awareness.
Today’s Economic Timesin India has run a story titled: “Why do successful people resort to stupid acts?” The writer, Sridevi K R, talking to psychologists and behavioral experts, refers to the saga of iGate President and CEO Phaneesh Murthy, who was sacked from the company for hiding an office affair. This is the second time Murthy’s ‘indiscretions at work’ have led to his sacking. The first time it happened was when he was at Infosys about 10 years ago. Sridevi’s analysis points predominantly to people’s sense of ‘boredom or incompleteness’ with Life and wanting to do something ‘daring, different’, often using their position and power, that forces them to throw discretion to the wind and leads to their fall from grace.
There’s also a different way of looking at this. All matters of morality, discretion, right, wrong, social hierarchy, power, position, grace, disgrace are subjective. Period. Who is to decide what’s right and what’s wrong? Who’s to define what’s discretion and what’s indiscretion? Is being physically intimate with someone wrong? Isn’t it a biological need? Is sharing with someone wrong? Isn’t it an emotional need? What makes a CEO or a President more powerful than a homeless destitute on the street? Is the CEO really powerful or does society make him or her appear powerful because of its own aspirations? And who decides acceptable and unacceptable behavior in an individual? Society__an organization or nation__may define it TOan individual perhaps, but nobody other than the individual__himself or herself__can decide that INthat individual!
So, let’s not rush to judge someone’s ‘indiscretion’ as perceived from a questionable, flawed social view point. Instead, let’s examine ourselves.
All of us, in some way or the other, is on a self-destruction mode. This is apart from the fact that there will be a physical end, with death, to each of our lifetimes. Our means of self-destruction may vary. Someone may be self-destructing with anger and someone else will be self-destructing with grief. Some may be prone to lust and others to insecurity. Some may be destructing with ruinous addictions like smoking or alcohol, while some others may be held hostage to gambling or a hi-flying lifestyle. So, ‘self-destruction and falling from grace’ is not the prevail of the rich and famous or the high and mighty alone. Their perceived ‘falls’ make news. Ours don’t. But the truth is if you cannot look at the face in the mirror, in the eye, with all honesty, then you have fallen in your own eyes. There’s no higher court of justice than one’s own conscience. There’s nothing wrong with living a Life, even if it were questionable to others, if it pleases you and works for you. Just don’t try to hide from yourself. If you see the point being made here, then appreciate that no one, that includes you, is free from self-destruction!
When you stop hiding from yourself, when you put yourself through self-examination, the result is an awakening. A brilliant awareness takes over. Every time a temptation arises in you, to get angry or grieve or lust or drink or smoke, your awareness will step in and awaken you from your stupor. Awareness is the only way to freedom. Then nothing will tempt you. Neither a cigarette, nor alcohol, nor anger or sorrow, nor sex or gambling. You may well continue to experience__and are free to__everything for sure. But you will cling on to nothing. Nothing can and will enslave you. Your awareness will ensure that you are free__and are not enslaved by someone or something.
Think about this. Employ awareness to exit the self-destruct mode. Successful or not, you sure will live more intelligently. At peace with yourself!