martes, 28 de abril de 2015

Constraining others

         I remember a friend quoting a phrase he had read somewhere on the internet that said that people know exactly how to live other people’s lives but never their own. It’s a sensible idea, isn’t it? It’s so easy to be selfish and to demand things from others, specially things you would never ask yourself to give. And I’m not talking about material stuff, of course, but of intangible and more valuable things that could threaten or contradict how we act with others. What do I mean with this?

       Being judgemental with others for the same things we do is not so heinous in the hypocresy it embeds but on the consequences it may trigger. I’m not saying we shouldn’t acknowledge our mistakes or flaws and say “hey, my bad” from time to time (if we don’t, karma will take care of us), what I’m trying to say is that we know if our action is going to have disastrous consequences for both sides of the story and we can keep going or we can kill our pride and stop right there, if not for the others at least for ourselves. Now, this is still being selfish. As I said earlier, being self-centered is really easy. You can beat your chest and justify your actions acting like a victim of the circumstances or you can stop right there. You can give a million reasons why it’s acceptable for you to be the way you are but not for the other to be like that or you can stop right there.

        What is so terrible about just being able to stop at the right moment? Are we going to lose face or our dignity? I find it quite ridiculous to think that way and actually a bit mediocre. I strongly believe that it’s better to be that type of person that acknowledges he has made a mistake by condemning the other for something he would have done himself than the liar who pretends to be above the rest.

       You may think I’m just bluffing, that I’m bragging about how to be a better person without knowing what this implies. I won’t deny it. What I will say is that I know how bad things can get if you are stubborn enough not to budge an inch. You can end up either losing a friend (he himself actually knows who I'm talking about) or worst missing the opportunity to actually know yourself because whenever you stop right there you give yourself the opportunity to grow up, to be mature, to realise that you’re just as human and imperfect as your peer next to you. I found out that I remind myself of this everyday. There’s no such thing as taking this for granted. You take this stance and you grow up everyday a little more.

      It may be exhausting and difficult to reveal your weakness to the world but pretending to stand firmly on your own feet even when you know you’re mistaken will carry along pains you would later rather not have experienced at all.

martes, 21 de abril de 2015

Why we do what we do.

     We can feel it, right there in front of us, behind us, also around the corner. It’s almost haunting us, it’s about to get us. It’s nothing more and nothing less than that gigantic four-letter word: SALE.

     We (women) are –there’s no doubt about it- window-shopaholics. We have this huge virtual wardrobe or bookcase (for those who window shop books) in our memory to store everything we buy in our window-shopping escapades. We don’t feel embarrassed by the fact that we can stare for hours at this beautiful leather coat or that amazing trilogy of tales by our favourite author. Now, why do we do it? Why do we window-shop almost everything around us? Is it because we feel empty inside? That’s an easy answer. I think, and this is just a guess, that we do it because we’re too proud or too scared to actually purchase what we want. Again, this can be either because we care about what other people think or because we rather buy things we need than things we desire to have. 

     In my case (I’m a university student and I’m sure I speak for everyone in the same position), everytime I window-shop and I get to the point of, you know, deliberating if I can actually buy the thing, I start thinking of all the photocopies and books I need for school which cuts off any possibility of me purchasing anything at all. Here, I should say that I’m sure there’s not a definite answer of why we window-shop: It’s not that I think I don’t deserve having something I want but every penny counts, specially when you’re a student.  Still, I keep window shopping; I find pleasure on it.
Another possible answer would be that window-shopping is a cheap –actually, it’s free!- pastime. Of course we sometimes buy what we see, but the point of having all those things beautifully displayed in a window may be to own the desired object for zero money.

     I’ve also found that I unconsciously consider the time spent looking at a window, virtually shopping every item that catches our attention, as a treasured moment, almost filled with high classical music in the background, just like in the advertisements. I don’t care if it’s cold outside, if it’s raining, snowing or if it’s so hot that I could dehydrate. I always have time to do it. I need those moments of daydreaming, of believing everything is possible, including being able to buy all I see. In fact, nowadays, we don’t have to catch a cold to experience pleasure in window-shopping. We can do it online right from our home and if we want to actually buy something, we’re just one click away from doing it.

    Whatever the reasons, we don’t regret it. We find it comfortably “profitable”: we buy, except that we don’t.