I wonder about a lot of things. This sentence has been used so many times in my previous blogs that it is pretty redundant by now. It’s true though. I wonder about so many things that I amazed myself too. I used to wonder about things like: what would be the fate of the flower that grows in between the cracks of the sidewalks, how would it feels like to be a bird soaring in the sky looking downwards at the Earth, or why the tree trunk in front of my previous room at Weston Hall was so strong that it could bend 90’ in the wind and still do not break. Totally random, didn’t I tell you earlier.
Now, I am more fascinated by people around me. I like observing people; the human behaviour intrigues me to no end. Have you ever done an experiment in elementary school, where your teacher told you to leave moist bread in the cupboard, and observe its changes each day? But before doing the experiment, you have already been told that mold will grow on the second or third day. Humans, on the other hand, are less predictable.
…and that makes us all interesting.
I started noticing these minute details when I decide to improve on my social skills. I do not want to be forever the girl sitting quietly by the corner just listening, nodding in agreement, and laugh whenever appropriate. And while I am not the most popular girl, I am, at the very least, more talkative. My aunt from Canada visited us once in 2002, and another time in 2007. She was surprised that I could talk a lot and even better, initiate conversations with another person. People change, i thought. Some for the better.
There is no shortcut in learning social skills. Socialising, in my opinion, is like practising the piano. First, you must learn to read the music scores, then you start with simple songs and advancing to more complicated ones. You almost never get it right the first time. You make mistakes. And you learn from them. When you are comfortable with the keys, you add your own style in it, creating the most beautiful melody you could ever imagined.
Similarly, for socialising, you must first know the basic social cues first. I believe this is the challenging bit. You make mistakes. While it’s not impossible, it is hard to abide by social rules while being true to yourself. I learn by observing and analysing others’ reactions, especially how they handle situations, but the situations are never the same – so I have to improvise from what I’ve noted.
I have a strong personality. Some may view it positively as firm, but could negatively thought as a headstrong person. I know what I believe in and these will never change. I abide by the teachings of Buddhism, though I’m not particularly religious. Buddhism is not a religion, but more of a form of spiritual teaching. My two motivational icons are Dalai Lama and Mahatma Ghandi. To be honest, I never really quite understood the divisions of religions. All religions encourage morality, humanity, compassion, and the path of goodness. There was a time where I kept reading out of the virtual Book of Psalms, quoting a few bible verses – and I had a number of friends ask me if I was Christian. I’m proud to say I’m not.
Here’s a few quotes from Dalai Lama’s twitter feed. I find all of the phrases very useful, but I just picked a few out of random. I have always been quoting from Mahatma Ghandi, it’s time to quote from Dalai Lama.
“My message is always the same: to cultivate and practice love, kindness, compassion and tolerance.”
“Through thoughtful contemplation, coming to appreciate compassion and love, our mental attitudes can gradually change.”
“Once your mind is calm and full of love, there is no room for hatred or fear. Others will trust you because of your open heart.”
“The more contact we have with one another and the more we come to understand each other’s values, the greater will be our mutual respect.”
“Enemies teach us inner strength, courage and determination.”
“We must work to resolve conflicts in a spirit of reconciliation and always keep others’ interests in mind.”
“Love and compassion arising with a clear recognition of the importance and rights of others will reach even those who would do you harm.”
“All good qualities must be sown and cultivated. We can’t expect to change overnight from an ordinary person into one with high realizations.”
“To control negative physical and verbal actions, it is necessary to get at their root, the mind, and tame it.”
“Whether or not we follow any particular spiritual tradition, the benefits of love and kindness are obvious to anyone”
“Whether we like it or not, we’re all connected, and it is unthinkable to be happy all by oneself.”
Everyone is a unique individual, friendship intertwined in a perfect symbiosis. Just look around us, maybe you’d understand.