Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm What I Think!

I'm What I Think! My signature here. And my id on one of the social networking sites.

"I'm What I Think!", it is. Not "I'm What I Think I'm!". Nor "I'm What I 'm!".

"I'm What I think I'm!" is preposterous and presumptuous. Nobody is what he thinks he is.

(I am not sexist. But I have no fascination for Feminist preferences in respect of language; I love English far too much to be a mute accomplice in its mutilation. So, if the context so warrants it, as it does in this instance, 'he' means 'she' as well.)

One may think one is the epitome of virtue but one may not actually be. One may think one is very intelligent, sophisticated, and so on. And one may be - and usually is - off the mark in each case. Not a big deal really. Everyone has a certain amount of narcissistic, flattering estimate of oneself. Some manage to keep it minimal; some cannot. But it is there, this flattering estimate of oneself. When it exceeds all reasonable limits, one is far off the mark and that spells trouble for the person.

Again, one may think one is the President of United States. Or that he is God. Well, you know very well where he should be sent!

"I'm What I'm!" is different too. Its mildest implication suggests resignation : "I'm what I'm and I cannot change it." and its most virulent implication suggests "I'm what I'm and I don't care a damn to change no matter what one thinks of me."

"I'm What I Think!" is something different - way different.

Nobody is his name; nobody is his age; nobody is his gender, academic qualifications, vocation, profession, earnings, bank balance, and so on.

Nobody is what we usually seek to know about a person when we are acquainted with the person.

I am the same - even when I change my name. Shakespeare was right on the dot when he said "What is in a name?", wasn't he? Some of what I am may have a bearing on some of the various tags I have mentioned - tags like profession - but (usually) not the other way round.

None of these - my name, age, gender, etc - really define me.

What define me are my thoughts - what I think. My thoughts alone characterise me. A different set of thoughts - at any given point of time - define a different person.

So, if you want to know me, you need not know my name, age, gender, occupation etc. and you do not need my photograph. They may be necessary to identify me at some point (if a very valid need arises) but not at all necessary - or even useful - to know me. Instead, you should try to know what I think.

This is the thinking behind my id on that social networking site. This is the thinking behind my refusal to identify myself online.

OK, I do tell people my name and gender. Just to make life a tad easy and make communication a tad more comfortable. As elementary parameters for minimal identification. Not as a means to know me. That is just about the concession I give to the curiosity of people online.

Sometimes, people are very insistent that I upload a picture of myself. Not necessary, I tell them.

Pictures as well as physical presence or physical acquaintance can have an unduly subjective influence on one's evaluation of a person.

A handsome man or a pretty woman usually creates a favourable first impression. But the person may prove to be far different later on. Someone may have a captivating smile. And someone else may have a fabulous dress sense - cultivated or otherwise. These are all subjective influences causing a prejudice or bias - either favourable or unfavourable. Both types of prejudices affect one's objectivity. I don't want to be either the beneficiary or the victim of a prejudice.

Subjective influences are best avoided if you want to have a strong relationship with someone. That is what we aim at (or should aim at), isn't it?

But strong relationships are possible only if you know a person well.

Know your person well by talking to him over a length of time; keep yourself alert as you gather what he is saying; over a sufficiently long period of time you can paint a fairly accurate picture of the person. The longish time helps you identify inconsistencies in the image created across time and decide whether he is phony.

You may not agree with me in this. I understand that perfectly.

But you know now what I think in this particular matter. And you know that it is me so thinking. This thought pattern identifies me. It does not identify me uniquely by itself, I agree. But, coupled with a good enough number of my thoughts, it does identify me uniquely.

Because I'm What I Think!


Sudha said...

Awesome read, Prasad! Kudos! I am a contradiction, for sure.. I am happy to be me.. I see a joyous and well wishing person in the mirror when I see myself. That's what I am! Joyous, kind n well wishing. Very strong minded and willing to go the extra mile to make loved ones feel loved.. My attitude is that of I am what I am:take me or leave me! But, in my own lil personal World, I am what I think. My thoughts are not for all to know. I voice my opinion only when I am asked to do so.. else, I will just quietly observe, nodding even if I dont wish to, so as not to ruffle any feathers. But, when asked for an opinion, I am brutal and honest. I may try n colour it with a smile or a softer tone, but, my words are straight from the heart and sometimes, make me wince, too..I may not stand up for myself as oft, but, am a pillar of strength for anyone who's incapable of standing up for themself! Lol!
So, as per your note, I am all of the above rolled into one :-)

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