A young woman lost touch with her dad as a child when her parents divorced. As she grows up, she desires to meet him – she finds out that he is dead. She wishes she had made an effort to reach out to him sooner.
A woman’s in-laws shun her because she could not produce a male heir. And the problem is not with her but her husband but still she bears the grunt of insults.
Another young woman is in a toxic relationship with her boyfriend. They are going to therapy but cannot break the vicious cycle of emotions that keep them tied to each other and unhappy.
A young girl’s parents demand that the boy they found with her marry her even if he is not of the same caste. Boy’s parents have no choice but to agree.
All these stories, I am sure sound familiar to you right. You might have had some experiences yourself or know of friends who did. As a part of the human experience, we all suffer through the same emotions. Even if the situations are different, some situations may be as drastic as the death of close one or minor like a car breaking down, but the feelings we go through remain the same.
If I told you that the first three stories are about billionaires who buy a fifteen thousand dollar fish maw for soup and the last is of a poor farmer of a low caste. Does your perspective change?
Until we knew that they were super-rich or poor, we had a different kind of connection, and when we got to know their financial status, there was a small shift. And the shift happened in our head – our mindset. Why does race, finances, skin colour, country of origin have to play in part in how we relate with each other? We all have two eyes, two ears, one nose and a mouth.
Imagine you and your friends are playing a video game where you each have an avatar. One of your friend’s avatar hits the jackpot and can fly now. And your avatar becomes a mean underworld don. Will you start treating each other differently? No, right because that would be silly. Just because a bunch of pixels on the screen can fly does not mean you treat your friend differently.
But we do this in real life all the time? If somebody is rich, they get a different preference than somebody who is not. If somebody is a CEO, they are looked upon differently from a janitor? Who said that just because somebody is a CEO, they are better than a Janitor? As a society, we came up with this structure because our mind (ego) likes differentiation. If there was no comparison or need for control, then there is no need for ego – Ego will have to die, which it does not want.
Life is no different from the video game where we have avatars who go around doing all this stuff – underneath it all we are all the same.
Are you in touch with the essence underneath the avatar?