Remember when we learnt about solid,liquid and gas. Thats when I learnt about a particular property of water…in standard two. It takes the color of the thing it’s mixed in and it takes the shape of the container that holds it…. Very mundane, very simple and very commonsensical isn’t it…. And imbibing this very property makes life slightly complex, if not entirely complicated….
This property of water is nothing but one quality that I can safely say, is common to everyone “living”: Adaptatio. Prnoven beyond doubt by Darwin’s theory of evolution and tested easily when you changed a bit of yourself to get accepted into a group. We have thus, evolved and adapted in varying degrees to become what we are today…. The level of adaptations could range from linguistics adaptation (where you use the slang that group uses often) to behavioral (where you tend to alter your behavior to give “acceptable” reactions to certain events.)Every group you were a part of throughout your life would have been distinctly different from each other…. And as a result, you would have modified yourself over and over again.
Some people weed out the unwanted qualities through these adaptations and become better individuals while others go to an extreme and become clones of the most influential person in the vicinity completely losing themselves…. The net result is that there are many aspects – which are not completely you – that now form a part of your personality- The new you!
At this point, I wouldn’t dare generalize but just talk about how I have adapted in due course of time (may be some people identify with it). During the first few years of schooling, I was with this guy, y very own dear brother who was creatively “gifted”! While I did have some potential, my association with him made my “music” good. Not stopping there, I went on to take my talent serious and learnt music for 14 years… During the later years at school, my gang was heavily into sports,volleyball and basketball. Net result, I was a part of both the teams . At this point I wonder, had my group been the studious, teachers’ pets kinds or the culturally inclined kinds – would I have done these things? Is me becoming good in music and sports – intentional or associational?
During graduation, my group was this simple living, high thinking sort of a group. It was with them that I was exposed to giving back to the society bit and I started doing volunteering work. Well yes there were bouts of shopping sprees etc. But you gotta admit that was part of growing up. College was primarily about writing (again my group had elements very active in it) ,reading (my beat friend was an English graduate and I became a voracious reader) and cooking (very good friends who were amateurs themselvesbut great at experimenting. )SO, after 3 years when I graduated, I was a tomboy who was not literally challenged and a decent conversationalist . My final year roommates were avid photographers and I learnt the basics from them. I must admit I am good now!!Ms. A, I must thank you for the little knowledge you shared with me now and then…I know aperture, shutter speed,lenses etc 🙂
RSOM came and I was placed with the CROWD as everyone puts it. With such high standards, came a serious jolt to my personality as well. I became intensely competitive (everyone was just so good, that becoming better needed constant reminding), was prey to the hunger to make my mark… But the most prominent was becoming immensely practical bordering on callousness about things. My dear and near are still bearing the brunt of this change…
As I write this today, I am reminded of this conversation with a very old friend. She asked me for some advice and when I proffered she exclaimed, “What kind of advice is this? The mad I know would have never said something like this”.
I was forced to think that while I have adapted every time to find myself in this “grey” zone (sort of acceptable to all), is it the case that I have lost my “blacks” and “whites” (the core which defined me). Is it that in process of weeding out and becoming better, I have just lost what “Mad would have said/done”?
Is it fear or is it not knowing yourself??