I heard “Imagine” this morning on the radio this morning and it made me think about a few things I’d heard recently… which all kind of add up to this one thought…
Which is how we decide to accept the dictates we’re all given.
Or maybe a better way of putting it is to say: “You decide what you can’t do.”
It started almost a month ago (shortly before the Shilpa scandal began) when James Sinclair (as previously mentioned for Double Life fame) talked about how it was amazing that you put celebrities in this house and they’ll actually confirm to the rules really quickly – they’ll get excited about their tasks and achieving them. Just because they’re told to. They’re given rules to live by and these quickly become their world (at least, for most, and least they seem to!). His point was that we are too quick to adapt – so, we quickly accept the limitations put on us. The rules we’re told to work within. That rebellion doesn’t come naturally and most people will not fight for rebellion unless they are in a majority (so, if your world is freedom fighting, that’s your norm and you muck in with the people around you – but the rest of us conform to our own construct). It’s all a bit “Matrix” but there’s a good point in there, I think.
Next a cab driver told me (as we sat in the ever-present London gridlock) that he’d decided a year ago to take a piece of advice and it had changed his life… The advice was that we all have control over our reactions.
So, you decide to take offense at how someone treats you – which is why a child can tell you that you’re fat or bald (or both for some of us) and you’ll laugh. But, if a work colleague you don’t know well said the same thing, you’d want to hit them. Or sue them. Or just generally ignore them for ever more. Note: Not all of us are as petty, but that’s the point.
His decision was to ignore all these things – to see them in the best light always – to construct a positive world around himself. To not get angry at the driver that cuts him up on the road – instead, just consider it a mistake. To not get riled by angry passengers – just accept that they’re stressed and running late. And so on…
It seems rather idealistic (to a cynic like me, anyway) but it also seems rather astute.
After all, why not? Why not ignore the crap around us? Be a bit more positive.
Finally, the John Lennon song – which I do understand has a hell of a lot more depth and symbolism than I’m about to extract, but so be it.
It just struck me – as I truly listened to the lyrics for once – that his point could be construed more simply… Imagine if there’s no heaven or hell. No day tomorrow. That you’re actually living for today.
Would it be different? Would some of the things that rile us disappear? Would we consider things in a different light? (or – to the extent he hoped, would we not see fit to go to war?)
The last bit was more tenuous, but since it was the prompt to remind me of the other things, I’ve kept it in!
Makes me think though…
Firstly, at a personal level, how can I manage to have some of that serenity and positivity the cab driver held on to?
Secondly, to link it all back to the point of this blog (if there ever is one), why do we so quickly accept the procedures and processes foisted upon us? Why accept that we have to approach problems in one way? Why let planning and creativity be defined as a process at all? Why do we accept the limitations of accounts that we’re struggling with sometimes? etc…