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 !!!


At 7:11 PM, Blogger Sai said...

I totally agree with you. We tend to miss out on the happiness by worrying about useless stuff. Your happiness is in your own hands. Happiness can be achieved without money, fame, power etc. Its all about training your mind. My "ratio" should be a large number now because I have trained my mind to not pay any attention to all these "useless" things (there was a time in the not so distant past when this was not the case). So now I see only green lights while red ones go unnoticed.

At 12:29 AM, Blogger Flavin said...

Wow, that was truly an eye-opener. Every point in it sounds so true. It wouldn't take a long time for me to conclude that my ratio is far less than 1 right now. But, I guess I need to push it over the barrier sometime. Sometimes things get so bad that I just see red-lights everywhere. And then everything gets on my nerves, leads to stress, you know the rest.

I guess its high time I slowed down, took a step back and looked at life around me. Reduce complaining and think about the positive side.

This article has been a positive inspiration, well written and thought-provoking.

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Tweety speaks said...

I do completely agree with you. We do oversee many important things in life and we tend to take all the good things for granted and hype up all the bad things.
We never take even a second in a day to feel happy that we are alive today and we are able to enjoy everything in this world, but if something goes out of place, like being met by an accident , then we take hours, days and years to crib and cry that things/God/people are being unfair to 'me' and only to me.
Only green lights on a road lead only to accidents and not to happiness. I feel we should have some red lights in life to understand and enjoy the real happiness at the sight of a green light. That is when we can enjoy the pleasure of a smooth drive incontrast to having to brake.
I like your thought 'It is all in the mind' and I completely agree to it. Happiness lies within us and we are solely responsible for making our lives look green or red. If I were to gauge myself, I think I am at the border. I am trying to make the ratio far more greater than one.

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Anu said...

True happiness is uncaused.. :)
Cool one AK. After a long time that is..

At 6:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are something different, you are a philosopher .whatever you speak has some value. your parents must be proud of you.
me too!, I was your chris mom

At 6:20 AM, Blogger Midhun Kumar Allu said...

Awesome post arun. I like that ! Very very well put

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Arun / Anna / AK said...

Thanks everyone for the comments, they are very encouraging.


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