I am quite sure am not alone in this … everyday as I wake up there are several questions that pop into my head. As the day progresses, many more questions get added and then as I nod off at night, I may still have a few questions left for the next morning. The questions don’t bother my sleep courtesy the genes that I have inherited from my mother. Whatever happens in the world, both of us manage to sleep well at night !! Its truly a gift that I can’t thank Amma enough for. Appa was a insomniac, who just couldn’t sleep beyond a few hours at best. Its probably plain luck or some Karmic benevolence that I inherited this trait from Mom and not from Dad :).
Anyway, I want to make an attempt to group these zillions of questions that I keep getting into certain categories so that I can come up with an answer for them and use that as a framework as I deal with the questions.
Here are the categories in no particular order –
Priority Questions –
Examples : Should I exercise or sleep a little longer ?; Should I eat that sinful cake or take another helping of the salad?; Is the fit more important or matching the colors ?; Should I watch that movie or write that report?; Dusting or Mopping or Reading or Cooking?; Travel or stay safely at home?; Get an education or buy a house?; Be nice to my boss or resign?; Food or shelter?; Water or Food?; Air or Water?; 100th new shirt/skirt/sari/dress or donate money to a charity?; Rest or work hard towards my goals?; Taste or hygiene?; Country or Bank Balance?; Speed or safety?; Promotion or work life balance?; Vacation or FB updates?; Should I be happy or appear to be happy?; Others opinion or my own ?; Cheat or say no?; Love of your life or a one night stand?; Mother or wife?; Mother-in-law or husband?; Child(ren) or Spouse?; Adopt or rent a womb?; Things or people?; Abort or take the responsibility of a child?; Cut your losses or continue bleeding?; Spend time with your lover/spouse/family or focus on earning more?;
Existential Questions –
Examples : Why me?; If there is a God why am I not as rich as Bill Gates?; Why can’t I be slim like Katrina Kaif while eating all that I want to eat?; Whats for breakfast/lunch/dinner?; What is more important – looking thin or being thin?; Is money important or happiness?; Why can’t I be adopted by a rich relative?; Why am I not lucky like Mukesh Ambani?; Work or retire?; Is there life after death?; Are there other human beings living on other planets?; Why was I born?; Who is the greatest God – Krishna, Allah, Jesus’ father in heaven, Ganesha… do they have a voting system in heaven?; What is sin?; Who decides what’s good or bad?; Who created the Earth and the universe?; Why don’t they get it – my leader/house/way of life/food etc is far superior than theirs?
Armchair Activist Questions –
Examples : Why do they use plastic when its harmful to the Earth?; Why do they send plastic spoons even when I said no?; Why can’t they bring cloth bags from home?; Why do they not clean the roads?; Why don’t they do the tree planting drive early in the morning?; Why did Gandhiji accept the partition of India?; How can I take responsibility for cleanliness/safe driving/tree planting/not-paying-bribes etc when there is a govt?; Why should I vote?; Why should I believe in you?; Why do they waste so much water?; Why do people use the car horn so much ?; Why do people hoard stuff?;
I have more questions, but I guess you get the drift. As I wrote the questions I realised that there are no right or wrong answers to any of these questions – but they say a lot about the person. The priority questions especially are very important. They decide whats most important to you and answering them makes life a lot easier. Krishnan and I review many of these questions often because they lead to decisions that make an impact on our future.
Existential questions are just that … they exist because I don’t understand why I exist. Am not being flippant, but there are no answers that someone else can give you. Some of the existential questions stem out of the fact that answers to the priority questions aren’t very clear.
The Armchair Activist questions are interesting because they come up when you dont want to take responsibility for making something happen. If I truly cared about not using plastic, I will go all out and ensure that I remove all plastic stuff from my life and start campaigns to influence others as well. But many times, I want things to change without my having to make it happen… thats when these questions come up. All of us are armchair activists on some issue or the other. You can’t be an activist for everything anyway.
Can you think of other categories? Please do share if you come up with some. And yes, do spend some time answering the priority questions – they come up every day in some form or the other and answering them one way or the other changes lives.