Carrying the world’s weight 

One of my friends wrote me a really long goodbye text as I was leaving for England. (I know you’re reading this :p) It opened with him asking me to stop carrying the world’s weight on my shoulders which launched me onto a weird thought trajectory and thus this post.
What exactly does it mean to carry the world’s weight? And what is actually weighing on you? These are some questions I seek answers to.
In our life, we face both ups and downs. We are taught to stay strong, on-edge and selfish. Yes, selfish. At my recent internship, my colleague told me, “Sometimes you need to put yourself first.” What most people fail to realise is that putting yourself first sometimes is transitioning into selfishness. Not just my colleague, my own mother said something similar to me. “If you give everyone time and attention, the world will walk all over you”. Such realisations really puzzle me as it leaves me having to choose between my time and someone’s happiness. Is it worth being selfish?
If I was to try and answer this question of the world’s burden, I’d say that listening to, and supporting someone through their struggles doesn’t mean you’re carrying the weight of the world. You form friendships, relationships even on the promise of reliability and if one can’t rely on you to help them overcome their struggles, you’re nothing but a facade of a friend.
Not just relationships, but we’ve also got expectations placed upon us. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this but in the culture I grew up in, a child has expectations set out for him/her from the moment they’re born. These may be behavioural, success-related or familial. They loom over every persona leaving them addicted to climbing this ladder of fulfilment, not for themselves but for others around them. As much as I’d hate to admit, I find myself in a similar chase. A chase to meet deadlines, standards and all expectations anyone/everyone could and would have of me. Sometimes these expectations don’t even exist, they’re just assumptions. Think about that. Doesn’t that make you feel stupid?
One can never tell what might be waiting for him/her just around the corner. Might be something good or something absolutely horrible.

I believe that the expectations or burden that you shoulder is what tells you who ultimately backs and supports you. This so called “weight of the world” is shared between you and those who love you. Not the cheesy sorts of love, but true affection and care. Think of these emotions and expectations as your own for there is someone out there who’s carrying the weight of your world.

Uhm…Could you please?

img_20160328_144933So here’s another one for you to introspect and retrospect.

When you find yourself in a situation where you think something is wrong, do you tell it as it is? Even when you do tell it for its truth, is your tone the right one?

Being at dinner with one of my friends triggered inspiration for this one. There was basically something wrong with his food and the staff completely denied any issues with the food. The situation then escalated to name calling, raised voices and anger. Things which could’ve been avoided with a simple change of tone. Think of any simple conversation, like asking someone to pass the salt. This can be said in a calm, soft tone or a loud, hasty one or even worse, with unintended underlying sarcasm. Each of those would have a varied impact on the conversation and the possible impression you may project.

So here, my friend went with the loud and hasty and the staff member chose to stick with underlying sarcasm. You know with that combination, the situation could’ve only gone into a downward spiral. These are people who are open to and are trained to deal with conflict. Imagine being in this situation as a person who avoids conflict at all costs and really being helpless in calming the hot-head your friend’s turned into.

If you’re anything like me in this scenario, you would rather talk things out, shy away from conflict and walk away before things escalate too much. The title itself shows how far I could and would take this situation, “Could you please change this portion?” or just “Could you please take this away?” That’s it but that’s just me. If you’re more like my friend, who needs to give it to people as it is, then the manager will be called and words will be had. This brings me to the question at the core of all this, how do you pick the right way to deal? Just with you mood? or with the place?  In my opinion, snapping in public works against you in every way, it pisses the staff off, makes you look like a stuck up snob and increases your chances of never being able to eat at that restaurant again 😛

So note to self, and to everyone else, think of the time and place you’re at, the people you’re with and think of the next hour when you’ll curse yourself for being the obnoxious customer who ruined the staff member’s day. Think, RE-think and then act, always.