How would you define an individual? A sum total of positive and negative attributes collectively called as an individual’s character. However, as not so evolved human beings we are prone to notice and comment on anybody’s negative traits at first instance. We judge, complain and criticize at every opportunity.
All men have good and bad qualities in differing ratios. The ones with higher goodness are naturally more likable, lovable and memorable. But an interesting fact about our behavior is that while a person is living and around us we never happen to appreciate his goodness or his positivity. No matter how slight or dormant his negative side may be, we invariably carp and gossip about it. The imperfections are always magnified in our eyes. We are unable to perceive him beyond our filters.
But when that same person lives no more, his kindness surrounds us no more, we suddenly notice, discuss and appreciate his god-like qualities in all measures. It especially happens in families with family members. When the family comes together at any occasion they remember the departed soul in his entire divine avatar.
So I just wondered why do we behave in this particular way. Why are we so stingy in somebody’s admiration in front of him? What restrains us from being vocal about another’s virtues while he is with us? Because it is funny that his absence should suddenly invoke knowledge of his goodness within us.
One reason is that sometimes we don’t realize the value and importance of people and things till they are taken away from us. Every good person or thing is taken for granted until that goodness ceases to abound us. But this is only one fact and reason for the way we behave.
The other truer fact is that we are scared to appreciate somebody. It sounds mistaken but delve a little bit into yourself and you will realize how true it is. We are insecure and scared to acknowledge, accept and compliment somebody’s merit because it makes us look small in our own eyes. There is a hint of jealousy and insecurity within us and it is so subtle that we may never even know about it. We are afraid to face our own deficiencies and in defense choose to find and notice the other’s deficiency as well. It superficially comforts us.
However, when that same person is gone, all his goodness comes to the forefront maybe because now there is no threat to our ego or pressure to mould ourselves to his better ways. But even in relationships where there is no scope of competition or comparison, we still hesitate to admire someone. This strange behavior totally baffles me.
My grandfather was a man who commanded respect of his family, friends, staff and almost the entire city through his generosity, integrity, resourcefulness and his simplicity. But until he passed away, I as a granddaughter never really acknowledged it or admired him; in fact got irritated at his certain idiosyncrasy. And today when I sit with my family, I so fondly remember all his virtues and feel proud of being his granddaughter.
In ten good things, we still pick up the one bad thing about a person. How shallow of our thoughts. Coming to think, genuine appreciation really enables a flow of beautiful positive energies between two souls. When two spirits exchange joy between them, there is music of solace and dance of delight permeating through our nerves. Only if our lives could be about accepting the good and letting go of the bad, the days would be refreshingly pleasant.