Rohit: Some questions are big, substantial and they might be present around us everywhere in the society we live in and yet we may unconsciously or maybe even choose to ignore them due to various factors. Like my coach used to call it the “Pink Elephant in the room” that no one wants to see and they just go about ignoring it like it doesn’t exist. These questions can be tricky and at times there is no easy answer and maybe at times no answer at all, the ultimate reward maybe just staying with the question to give one a fresh insight.
Kiran: To stay with the question. To ruminate. To see what it reveals. To wonder innocently like a child. To be willing to learn. Ah! Perhaps that is an art of life.
Rohit: The question in light here is the dogma of the society around age. Mainly age as the criterion to determine quality, substance, depth of understanding and experience to handle any situation or daily life. Age is the central aspect of discussion but the centre can and may have other avatars or manifestations in life in the form of position, hierarchy, superiority, dominance in relation to day to day ordinance. Generally age or its various avatars may have many responses like they may be quirky, dismissive, reverence, matter of fact so on and so forth.
Most of my blogs have come from my personal struggles and experience as is the case for anything substantial in life I guess.
So the experiences for me have stemmed from various incidents largely with people who have been older to me in different avenues of life like professional meetings and at times personal, without going too much into detail they have always left me with questions, struggles and discomfort. When I closely observed it left me with questions around my own self worth about how maybe I did not get valued sufficiently for all the experience I got to the table and felt side lined due to my age. This left me with an even bigger question, ‘Can anyone actually ever make anyone feel side lined?’ or, truth be told, ‘Can anyone ever make anybody feel anything?’ They might trigger some things but deep down isn’t the root of all discomfort or perhaps even joy, on the inside and not outside? Some other honest questions were: ‘Is age such a huge parameter for respect and success? ‘Don’t experience and results count? Is age an expression for maturity? Does a higher position really mean that you have a higher understanding?
Kiran: There were some really difficult moments for Rohit as he and I would go to meet a client and he would be treated as an inexperienced person while he brought in rich experience- often a richer experience that he has had in 3 years than many might have had in 10. How the world- which means each of us- often look at the appearance and not so much the substance. I always like to quote the old Hindi song, ‘Dil ko dekho, chehra na dekho, chehron he laakhon ko loota, dil saccha aur chehra jhootha’ (Look at the heart, not the face- appearance- the appearance has fooled many, the heart is true, the appearance false)
Rohit: The automatic route of blaming did take its course and then I reached a dead end with it which is most often the case with venting out and making someone or something else the object of frustration. When you hit a dead end your suddenly more open to other views, angles. So I pursued with the questions knowing that maybe a perspective that I had not seen yet would surface. Well honestly I did not get a brand new perspective of looking at it which we so often expect cause we feel this huge message might come and change our very lives but what I did get were endearing simple lessons which are and will continue to be close to my heart. Someone very beautifully said the true insights are those that seep through your soul and at times even leave you unaware that the shift has happened.
Some of the crucial insights for me during this period were brought about by authentic sincere conversations from coaches, dear ones. (I believe that there is nothing in the world that can’t be solved by that approach)
• At the heart of any unresolved issue is not accepting the reality of the situation. Acceptance truly is the greatest and at once the simplest ways to begin to look at things differently and I think it needs to be noted that most times it is ignored because it is that simple. Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation, it acts as a clean slate for any action.
Kiran: One of the most profound lessons for me also has been acceptance. Somewhere it frees up the energy and the fight and releases emotional energy so that one can be more in the moment and with the truth of what is. So, in fact, in the absence of acceptance there is a struggle- sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle and in fact that jeopardises the outcome. Somehow, we are fighting with reality. Suddenly as I accept something that I had been denying, it is almost as if a flat b&w picture becomes a 3D color movie and more. Being able to see, being able to breathe, being able to love are the immense gifts of acceptance. And we can’t fake it.
• Looking at the situation as a boon and how it can become an opportunity to learn bring about various shifts in perspectives for ourselves and the world at large and then the same issue begins to find a crusader who is willing to fight for that cause in a simple humble way and pass on the essence of that learning to many.
• True authenticity and vulnerability while dealing with the situation can take anybody a long way and before you know it the destination’s in sight.
• Trusting deeply that there are never are any accidents and that this is here to teach me something irrespective of all the evidence, however difficult the current situation seems. A friend of mine said beautifully “Any experience you either learn from it or ignore it based on what approach you take you will experience those rewards”
• And probably the biggest one for me is “Who are you being?” in that situation, are you being someone who is wanting, desiring attention? Or someone who is unnecessarily wanting to prove his worth? Cause the world always gets who you are being and treats you that exact same way.
• Ultimately the strongest insight I walked out with is that age is “Who you are” What I realised is Age is truly about: Can you bring all that experience u have had on the table when it counts.
• And yet the challenges continue as they say such is life . So always leave some room to goof up cause we are human and goof ups are fun cause they remind us that life is goofy and also cause Goofy is the cartoon character the lovable affable dog many of us grew up adoring 😛
I always like ending by quoting one of my coaches and also by drawing upon the wisdom of some of the great thinkers of our times. My coach always said remember “ It’s the hooligans who make a show of who they are the Shaolin master never has a need to talk about or show who he is”.
And your very flesh shall be a great poem. “-Walt Whitman
For me, this age question relates to learning to see things beyond the obvious. And I have seen also that there is a chronological (physical) age and then there is the emotional age- some call it emotional intelligence. And what about the age of the soul!
A dear friend said,’If you believe in past lives, then, whether you are 10,000 and 20 years old or 10,000 and 50 years old, how does it make a difference?’
Is it not true that evolution moves forward – and possibly the younger bodies have older souls who more evolved and we need to listen to their wisdom? I was reading a book, ‘How children raise parents?’ and anyone who has had children will resonate with the truth of that. The question is – are we willing to be raised by our children?
Embracing the paradoxes like Servant Leadership, Peaceful Warrior and Learning Teacher enable us to contact truth which is always two-sided.
Having said that, it is also important to recognise that there is a certain wisdom that comes with age. There is a certain depth and width of experience that comes with having lived on planet earth in this lifetime, in this context which is very different from any time that earth has seen before this. History does repeat itself but it is also true that each moment is brand new.
Beneath all this, if we get down to the simple insight and maybe action.. it is about seeing and being willing to learn. To listen to the truth of the moment which can be flowing through the younger person or an elder. And in fact, above all, to listen to the wisdom of life. Whenever we experience a struggle, it is certain that we are not seeing something. We are not listening to ourselves, to the other.
Kiran: The Process of how this blog got written:
Kiran: Rohit and I were discussing how, profound vulnerability gives a whole new kind of strength. And how real power is not about an excessive show of strength but a silent knowing that there is a power in truth. And it does not need to be shouted from the roof tops. In the first draft of this note that he wrote for the blog, there was something that was not quite sitting well. And I shared that with him. And there was a certain human-ness in the way he reacted since he felt judged though he had bared himself and had been vulnerable.
And then that night he spoke to a dear friend of his who was able to hold a mirror from the space of love. She told him how in that draft there was a certain ‘bragging’ and wanting to make a point and prove something. And his willingness to see that and be vulnerable shifted something inside his being. And what resulted was this note. With a different energy. A different tonality. And then it did not matter what the world said. Something had flowered, some new understanding had been born.
And this is what I spontaneously wrote –
the whole energy is different..
the whole feel is more conscious..
this is the real rohit..
and of course he/we needed to go thru the
‘reel’ rohit ;-)- thru the reel kiran -the drama-
to arrive at the ‘real’.. the dharma
and the real is only one..
the rest masquerade..
the wisdom of going
to arrive at the peaks
here.. the rohit is beyond young/old
he is speaking from that space beyond age..
while acknowledging vulnerably the
reel.. thats what makes it real!