Gratitude to Pulkit Sharma for his interesting article in the May 11, Times of India. Below are excerpts from his article.
Psychologists feel that what differentiates human beings from all other species is a strong, cohesive and complex sense of self that we derive from our lifelong narrative of experiences. We always want this self to appear marvelous, flawless, enviable and everlasting to us and to the world. Most people feel that this can be achieved by being admired, loved and valued unconditionally throughout their lives and even after they are gone. Therefore, they toil hard and put everything at stake to keep their grand narrative alive.
Although this sense of self encourages us in making our mark and therefore, can be seen as something that adds meaning to our life, it often turns out to be an albatross around our neck. Preoccupation with our self brings up intense anxieties around losing what we have, being outperformed by others, making mistakes, feeling vulnerable and devalued, and slipping into oblivion. Even when we do something good, the excitement is short-lived; self-critical ruminations hit back rather quickly. In order to appear valuable and perfect to the world, we seem to be making a huge sacrifice – forgetting who we are, what we really want and what we could become. No wonder, an unexplained and incalculable suffering torments us.
Chinese sage Chaung Tsu narrates the story of a huge, old oak tree that was declared worthless by a carpenter because its timber was of bad quality and anything made from it would break, rot or wither away. Subsequently in the story, the tree told the carpenter that it had turned useless on purpose because it wished to live a natural and happy life. Had its timber been useful it would have been cut into pieces, made into something else and have long been dead. The sage enlightens us that in trying to be valued, desirable and significant in the eyes of the world, we usually end up relinquishing our deeper essence and live artificially. Despite assuming a grandiose form, our life is then fraught with meaninglessness and misery.
I found this story and article Interesting to ponder......may it also be of value to you.
Loving Life and Living Love,