A patient attending hospital to get help with conceiving a baby complained that one of the staff members was visibly pregnant. It was offensive to her as she was unable to fall pregnant naturally. By that measure, no one should walk in the presence of people in wheel-chairs as they might be offended. How far are we willing to take our right to be offended?
Wonder where this extreme unhappiness comes from? My guess is that it stems from feeling like a ‘victim’, having a huge sense of entitlement and feeling bitter because what is rightfully our’s is being denied to us.
I often get asked if it hurts to see Saagar’s friends graduate, get jobs and girl-friends, go travelling etc? The answer is that I am happy for them. I do miss Saagar like crazy. I do wonder what his life would be like but I don’t resent his friends living a full life. I still haven’t found the most appropriate way of answering the question, “How many children do you have?” but I am not afraid of it anymore. I take my time answering it. The answer often depends on the person asking the question and the context in which it is asked. I have the power to choose to answer or not.
The only things we can give to others are the things we have. If we are brimming with anger, sadness and disappointment, that is what spills over. If we live with peace, that is what we present. Do we have a choice? I don’t know. But we can be aware of what’s in our bowl and how it may come across to others.
My bowl has been empty for a while. I have not actively replenishing it for myself. When I am on zero, I have nothing to offer to the world. Of late I have been seeing my therapist regularly, taking time to meditate, going for walks, listening to music and spending time with friends. Now, I feel the difference. I feel good and I can take better care of others. Historically we attach great moral value to ‘selfless’ service, especially to the role of mothers. These values are misplaced. We all need to nourish our spirit for that goodness to flow out.
What are you going to do for yourself today?
From Shami Chakrabarti, ‘On Liberty’
Protection from ‘distress’ quickly morphs into a right ‘not to be offended’ and in a free society this is one right that must never exist. If we are all so infantilized and thin-skinned that we seek a right not to be irritated or offended, what are the consequences for cogent political dissent?