When his friend met him after years, the friend observed with a smile, "You look sukhi". He was scandalised. Sukhi is a Bengali term that has no English equivalent, according to me. It is an adjective to define a settled-into-life state of mind and being. The comfort of having a pattern of life that one is well-accustomed to creates a sense of security and safety. When used to this state of being, a small attempt to step out of this zone of comfort (for instance, when the brand of shampoo that you use is no longer available in the market) appears to be very unsettling. There is nothing criminal in being sukhi; just that there is a little less opportunity to live vibrantly.
We often believe that our comfort zone is a compact territory. This sense of possessing a clearly marked out zone of being, makes the heart feel knowledgeable about the difficulties one can possibly encounter. And, in the process makes one feel in control of things, people and situations. Does it occur to us - to you and to the blogger- that there may be more to life than the boundaries within which we restrain our lives?? It does occur, doesn't it?
But what do we usually do when it occurs, like it occurred to the frog in the well in the fable? We usually make ourselves believe the world beyond the boundaries is too dark, too grim, too challenging for us to handle. And, we think - Oh! how sukhi we are in our own worlds!
This is the mentality that Smith challenges in his TEDx talk referred to in Ides of March - 1. We do not forget the 'What if ...' of going out in to that big world beyond our zone of comfort. We rationalise it and make ourselves believe that, we are not geniuses, we are common people with little potential and power. And in the process, live for ever with the deceptive notion that we had no choice in the matter. In reality, we always have a choice between the "road less travelled" and the road frequently stepped on. In reality, we make a choice, always.
The blogger will here diverge from Smith's talk because she believes that greatness is not glued to the career one chooses. Greatness is the way of life that does not deny the existence of fears crawling and clamping down the mind. Greatness is but a choice to face the fears, instead of living with them as an apprentice to life.
It is never easy for the fat kid, or, the nerd, or, the differently-abled kid in and out of school. You know that, don't you? To just squeeze in to the existing pattern denies the creation of new patterns. Greatness is choosing a path that will not make us the Smiths of The Matrix Trilogy. Greatness is but choosing to fly with the knowledge that gravity can have the final call.
Footnote: The speaker of the TEDx talk is a Smith too ;)
Image: "Looking for it" @ An Elephant Reserve in Bangkok, by Susmita