Wednesday, December 06, 2006

the problem with being you

Recently I was shopping on my own when I happened to enter a familiar shop run by a team of Iranians. I was actually looking for a shirt to buy and as season '06 of football approached, I decided it'd be better to get the new football shirt/shorts kit done with along. As I was browsing a slightly younger salesman approached me and pointed me in the direction of the kit of the Iranian national football team, then started, then hesitated, then started, hesitated again and pronounced the obvious. A lot of times I am not a very big man but sometimes you fleetingly realize that there is a responsibility on your shoulder which has to be obliged very quickly.

I had absolutely no intention of ever buying the kit at that moment but I displayed an encouraging smile nonetheless and carried on the conversation for another five minutes or so, promising I would give it a thought as I exited the store. There are a lot of times in my life, or atleast what I describe to be life, that somebody will come and tell me that I'm either being a jackass, idiot, wierdo, boring, or simply just stupid. The example I cited above was to give us all a reason of thought – the boy was simply being himself when talking to some slightly younger and how many of us would actually lend it that split-second thought? I am not trying to brag but I appreciated the fact that he put his fears on a backstage and showed me the item despite knowing he would not get paid for it. That was simply him.

Another boy of my age would read this and say, “Husain, stop acting too mature,” and possibly brag on about how boring I'd be when put easily enough we are all the same underneath with all the same abilities of reason; whether we choose to outline outselves deep, cultural, daring, bright, funny, shallow and so forth. The truth is in today’s world there is hardly any appreciation for what a person is and what a person can be. What a person was is never the answer but looked at upon the most for quick book judgement.

The world is driven by the want for more and more money that will buy you everything in the world but a smile from deep down inside the heart. Today’s world is driven by people all over the globe fulfilling that objective of multi-corporate companies and running around in pursuit of the bills more than a marathon runner could ever dream to train, like dogs without a sense of smell and owls without eyes. Nobody has time to give to anybody else and when it is it is usually a short burst of good-heartedness that is short for the good reason that we have to catch up to the blinded owls and so on otherwise we land up nowhere, much like they would be if they stopped to pick up somebody from the ditch.

Nobody has time for anything else nowadays but when generosity is showered we receive whatever you can imagine gold could not fetch, and lots more beyond that. Nobody ever has the time to realize that he can be and allow others to be what they are. I’m not saying I have a solution and the truth is there really is no mass-spread verbal antidote to it except maybe the reflecting of oneself.

So for once, and hopefully maybe even twice and so forth, let’s remember that it’s OK for people to be themselves, especially ourselves, as we too, a lot of times, skip to be someone we’re not just because of those handy printed paper rolls coming in, or to know why there was ink-stains all over the school and office walls in five-minute-gossip groups, why she was made prefect or promoted over me or to try start fighting for no good reason.

That night, as I sat on my chair, for a few minutes I wondered on whether I really wanted a kit of the Iranian football team. It didn't take very long to reach the same answer I had previously concluded with and maybe, probably, he never knew that had I fulfilled my promise. But to me, it was a much more of a feeling than any other I had achieved the whole day.


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