Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Red light

By now most of you must have had the experience of facing the dreaded red signal of a traffic light. I bet the most common reaction would be in the lines of "Ohh God" or "Ohh s***" (it is interesting that God and s*** get used interchangeably while cursing !!). Recently I was cycling on an old rusty bike, in the midday Arizona summer (104 F / 40 C), with a heavy backpack while trying to get some paper work done (thanks to the omnipresent bureaucratic red tape) and I almost got through from home to school, crossing three signals, when at the fourth traffic light I saw that dreaded red signal......my first reaction, 'OHH NOOO ... not nowwww'.

Okay now, let us hit pause and reflect for a moment; what did I do when I was NOT stoppped by the previous three traffic lights?.....I did not think about God or s***, hmmm. Right then the skies opened up, suddenly things became nice and pleasent, a mysterious mist surrounded me and God walked down a golden staircase with a revelation.......he he he ........ that was a joke, except the revelation part. The truth my friends is that we take the green signal for granted (and never think about it) and the red signal as an unfortunate or evil intervention (and keep brooding about it).
NOTE: I am not preaching or canvasing for God or divinity.
My observation is that 'failure' in any form or size tends to leave a much more deeper impact on our minds than 'success'. Take a look at your lives and try estimating the ratio of the amount of time you spent enjoying or relishing the good events to the amount of time you spent brooding or complaining about the bad events in your life. And my guess is that if this ratio is greater than 1.0 then your life has been satisfactory and happy, otherwise it has been a miserable one !!

The first three green lights or the last red light in my bike trip; was it an act of God, was it a boon or a curse, was it part of a bigger plan, was it just random, or was it luck?......I can keep going. The answer is, choose what you like from this list of God or luck or coincidence etc, they will all average out in the long run but pay atmost attention to the 'ratio'; as long as the 'ratio' is greater than 1.0, life is going to be great. As someone has correctly said, "It is all in the mind" ..... and I add ..... "whatever the red light might be".

P.S. If your ratio turns out to be exactly 1.0 then either your calculations were wrong or you are a singularity !!!