It Is All in the Mind

By Christina Kim - February 23, 2015

Things don't always go our way, much as we always hoped and prayed for it.

The sun doesn't always shine when we want it to, nor does the rain stop when we wish to go out.
(Well maybe these days, cloud seeding could simulate rain, though temporary when the weather gets too hot or when the situation warrants it - such as haze posing a major life-threatening hazard)
The traffic is never smooth when we are rushing for time, nor does the road gets longer when we really are too early for our appointments and want to enjoy a longer ride with that one person we enjoy spending time with.
People won't stay even when we don't want it to end, and we cannot hang on to them even if we want to.
Life is like that, there are many things which are beyond our control, or at least that's what we always tell ourselves.

Life's like that, what to do?

The thing is, is Life truly made to be like that, that we can just choose to go with the flow and just accept it as it is?

Do we allow ourselves to understand things or situations a little better, and make a little change when we can?
(A good change of course, not reacting )

There are many ways we can always choose to look at a situation differently, but we chose to look at it the way we want to.
Perhaps it is the way our minds have been conditioned since young; owing to the variation of factors such as upbringing, family background, social background, environment, life-changing events, and the list goes on.
We tend to see things the way we are used to, the way we have grown accustomed to and are comfortable with that we no longer see them as unfamiliar territory. 
In fact, they have become for us, that comfort zone we tend to lean back on for support.
To us, that is the right way of looking at it.

Of course, there is never a wrong or right to any way of anyone looking at any situation, for who really defines the right versus the wrong anyway?
However, there are still those preset guidelines outlined or established by the many predecessors; such as our teachers, parents, religion and definitely education.
The education we receive from all the years since the day we were born defines those boundaries and restrictions which govern our behavior and well-being in practising only righteousness towards a virtuous life.
From self-virtues to harmony in the society, there are many lessons taught by all these parties to ensure that everyone has that common understanding on the good and the bad in the real world.
We are talking about the basics; the simple teaching of the good and bad, right and wrong, the do's and the don'ts, the should's and the shouldn'ts to plant those roots in individuals since they are young so that they will contribute more good to the society and the world when they grow up.

Now, let's ponder on this, based on these basic teachings and the efforts invested by all parties; from parents to elders to teachers and religion, to instill and cultivate only the good, the right and what should, then the question is, 
Why are there still Wars in the world?
Why do Cruelty still exist?
Why are Human beings still choose to do wrong when they know it is Wrong?

Isn't it only rightful and logical that with all these practices in place, there should be all peace and harmony?
I mean, if everyone were to put to practice the rightful virtues, and apply the morally righteous values to their lives?

It is because it is all in the mind of the person, and also, the right of choice.
The right here is not about the context of being the correct, but rather, the ability and the liberty one has in making a decision.

Study this, the input of teachings take place from the day we were born (perhaps some even during their time in their mother's womb) and all the way until we enter school, graduate and maybe even when we are working.
We meet various people who are contributors of ideas through their own share of experiences, insights and outlook in their very own encounters with life, along our journey in life.
The reason for all these inputs, especially during our childhood is due to the fact that we were too young in our lives to understand and there was basically not much information in our mind then.
Being young children, we were almost compared to a piece of white paper where nothing is written yet.
There is no boundaries for a young child, for they are game to explore or try anything new, and there is no risk or danger ever known, until they were told so.
This is the reason why children are often called pure, and are often looked upon as angelic and the reflection of all things good.
They are not aware of the dangers that lurk out there, simply because, they have not known the good versus the bad.
The definition of good and bad only enters the child's mind when they are complimented for the things they have done (good and right) and reprimanded when they are not following the rules (bad and wrong).
These rules are the ones which shaped the child's mind into an organization of rules; to separate the right versus the wrong by setting the boundaries which then expands into more complexity that it becomes a hand-scrawled pattern of mess and interwoven web as these rules continue to be deposited.
That is when the right and the wrong start to dominate their minds and influence their decisions.

The mind is a very complex system; it is a given fact, and you don't need a neurologist to tell you that (unless you are interested in the technicalities). Biologically speaking or even just metaphorically, the mind is one complicated system where it is not one straight line or just purely binary when it comes to deciphering it.
The information that goes into the mind are continuous, and there is no end to it.
We learn things every single day, and it just forms the information or that knowledge base in our minds.

As child we probably do not know the right from the wrong, and make mistakes which lands us in punishments.
However, experiences shape us along the way and we learn (or presumed to have learnt) as we grow up and enter the realms of adulthood.
When a child makes a mistake, it is because they are innocent and ignorant of the rules of the world, but when an adult makes a mistake, it becomes unforgivable because they are just bent on breaking the rules.
An adult starts to bear more responsibilities definitely, which makes absolute sense because we are aware of the logic and the rules of the world, yet we choose to break it.

We know the right from the wrong, the good from the bad, but we choose to turn that back on the values we grew up with.
Of course, not everyone is guilty of such, and then at the same time, there are also many who are in that denial mode of the wrong, and blames it on the generality of the perception which rules it as wrong.

True, we cannot be judgmental or just run along with a general perception when it comes to someone else's mistakes without understanding the story or the real reasons behind it, but then again, even with the justification (no matter how valid), does a wrong suddenly become a right?
The world, like it or not, is governed by rules, and while we can say that it is not purely black and white, it is still essential to live by these rules for they are made for a reason, to maintain discipline and peace in the world.
We can't have everyone running to kill or shoot another just because it 'feels right'.
We can't have people committing crimes because they can't see the wrong in it.
These are the ones in denial, and they are defying the rules, even when they choose to say otherwise.

Then again, why are there people who choose to do the wrong when they know, clearly that it is wrong?

It is All in their Minds.

We are great judges of ourselves, and the universe and everyone/everything else around us.
We sometimes just choose to see things the way we want to see it, and ignore those that we are not happy with.
Our own happiness matters, but some would take it to a different level and focused too much on ourselves that we tend to be blinded by the effect it could have on others.
(Or simply, sometimes we just do not care?)

Wars, battles, arguments, fights all happen because people do not get what they want, or agree with each other.
Everyone wants their way, everyone wants to win or be the ruling party.
Everyone wants to be superior.
Simply, everyone just wants themselves to be happy.

When people don't agree with us, we think it is their problem that they don't see eye to eye with us.
When people don't give in to us, we think they are making a mistake because they clearly don't see the clear picture.
When things don't go our way, we just think it's bad luck or it may not be the right time to do things, but we never think of whether it is the right thing to do.

It is always in the mind.

If we choose to control our minds, or choose to think a little for others sometimes, a lot of conflicts could have been avoided.
Everyone wants their way.
Everyone wants to win.
Then disagreements become conflicts, arguments become fights, and battles turn into nationwide war.
Nobody wants to back down, nobody wants to admit defeat.
They rather fight all the way than to be called a coward, even at the expense of others' lives and unhappiness which expands all the way to a large scale and even become larger along the way; and even if their own loved ones' lives are at stake.
In their mind, it is about their own pride, and about their nation and righteousness which they are fighting for.

They will not think it is wrong anymore, nor will they compare it to a similar situation they had as a child when they are arguing with a playmate over a little toy. They were often told to give in or share, and it worked back then, why not now?
Is it because at a larger scale or when complexity is involved, the lines are clearly blurred?
Why are we telling ourselves it is right when all we could do is to take a step back and look at the situation, that there could be a simpler and more amicable solution to it?
Perhaps some of us did, but when it becomes such a large scale, there is no way to step back for it would mean a loss of pride and defeat simply means the end.

When people are in poverty, they compare themselves to the rich and considers those blessed with the good fortune. They wonder why they are not, and then feelings of grudge and hatred grow in their souls.
They see the injustice and the unfair fate they are living in, and vow to make their own fates.
They see it right to rob or steal from the rich, by claiming that they are doing others a favor since the sources of the bountiful income could be from an illegitimate source anyway.
They see it as a way of survival, and when caught, claimed that they are just driven away by desperation, begging for mercy.
Who makes the judgment that the rich are rich because they have their incomes are from unverified sources?
No one has the right to judge any other, and even if someone has solicited their fortune by wrong means, it is to the law to judge them.
Robbing or stealing is wrong from the very start, and no one, under any circumstance, should have the right to commit such act on another even if they are in desperate situations.
A wrong is simply a wrong.

It is the mind which justifies for us all the mind, and we let it say so.
We can choose to say no, we can choose to change our minds.
We know the right from the wrong, we know the good from the bad.
What happened to all those years of education, teachings and values taught to us?
We can let our minds wander, but we can also bring it back to the path of righteousness.

Nobody has a perfect life, nobody makes the right decisions all the time.
Nobody can see the future (unless you're a clairvoyant), and nobody can say for sure the events which will unravel ahead.
We are living in the present, we can choose to make the difference.

Our minds can wander, but take control, take charge of it from now on.
We can let our minds say that it is acceptable, but we can also choose to understand and think on the positive.
When people do not agree with us, think why?
Are we not right? 
Ask them, what is their basis for the disagreement, and talk to them, try to settle for an amicable way to meet each other's expectations.

When people do not want to give in, discuss, think whether we were truly right all the way, and that we have not offended them?
Can we give in instead? 
Why give way to a major fight or argument which could lead to both parties feeling unhappy from then on?
I hardly think anyone would be happy when they are involved in a fight or an argument with anyone at all.
(If yes, that is totally a separate issue altogether).

When we are all cheerful and something goes wrong (weather, car, logistics, etc), we can choose to look at that we are unlucky, or we can just say, maybe I can do something else today?
Or I have learnt something new today?
Things probably happened for a reason, and who knows, we might have avoided a major disaster or life-threatening situation just by having our plans interrupted.

It is just a way of looking at things, and we can choose to control our minds instead.

It sounds easier than when it's done, as always, and I am not asking you to make any major change immediately.
However, there is always a place to start.
We can always start with baby steps.

Imagine, if everyone is to make a tiny tiny step, with the entire population all over the world, the tiny steps would amount to a major wave sweeping all over.
A tiny step, or a little, really goes a long way.
We might be able to put an end to wars (slowly), and if everyone were to be nice, or just show a little kindness and take time to step back.
We can choose to step back too, you know.
We can choose to hold back words not meant to be said.
We can choose to close our eyes to things we do not want to see.

We can choose to make that difference, if we choose to think differently in our minds.

Remember, it is ALL in Our Minds...


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