Roles we play

7sinsI am the child of my mother, the brother of my sister, the consort and lover of my beloved, the student of my teachers and mentors, and the friend of my friend. To everybody else, I am just “somebody”.

But what does that entail? What does it mean to be child, brother, lover, student, friend? Do I have a split personality, am I different persons when around different persons? And what does it mean to be in a place where I have to play multiple roles at once?

More often than not we are rewarded or punished by the others based on the role they have assigned for us, and how well we fit the box. Do you fit the box perfectly, without either overstepping it or leave it too empty? Perfect! Have some approval!

Are you revolting against the assigned role and playing to another tune, well then, don’t expect to get any approval for what you ain’t doing.

In my experience, the roles assigned to us are more often than not golden cages to which we must conform rather than airports we can go anywhere from. Of course, this is not to say that some of the roles don’t include quite a lot of space and freedom. They do. But at some point or another, even the largest of cages still finds bars.

You get a direct experience of just how big of a space you have within a role prescribed for you when you either overstep a boundary or underperform. It’s either a “Why did you do this. I told you not to?” or it’s a “How could you not do this when you said you’ll do it?”. And then you know. As big a space as you may have, you’re TRAPPED.

The others have expectations of you. And they’ll be the first to point out, should you revolt, that you are no better than them. That try as you might to say you’re different and have no cages for them, you too have expectations of your own, different as they may be, but expectations none the less. Even if your expectation of them is for them not to have any expectations of you.

Now let’s get things straight here. Wishing and Entitlement are not the same thing. They can both be classified as expectation, for in both cases, the future scenario is considered qualitatively more pleasurable than the current circumstances. But while wishing is a preference not entailing obligation on the other side (Boy, I wish I would get a new Laptop for Christmas), entitlement would turn even hell over to get what it wants (How dare Santa not give me MY Laptop? I said I wanted a laptop, what part of that wasn’t clear? He should have the elves in charge of MY laptop fired!)

So a person who says “You have expectations too” is actually extremely right. It is actually impossible to be alive and not have expectations. The nature of life itself is to expand, and in order to expand, you must have a place (even an undefined one) to expand to. You need not specifically know what that place is, but you will know that there is something that you want.

But it is an entirely different thing if your expectation takes the form of a wish or an endowment claim. Most of us do not even think of our wishes and the depth of them, because we’re too busy formulating claims about our “Rights” which we have worked for and which are not being met, as if anybody cared about our rights.

When we see a person expressing full-heartedly his deepest wishes, most uf us automatically become defensive for the fear of not being asked something. We automatically assume he’s not just expressing a wish, but actually it’s a demand in disguise, but he lacks the integrity to step up and take the stigma of being “Demanding”.

As a whole species, we have somehow stigmatized, but also legitimized DEMANDING. If your reasons are sound enough (and they must be pretty sound to be valid), then you have a justified, and therefore undeniable claim for your demands. And if someone dare counter your demand just for being “Demanding”, then you are in the right to dismiss that opposition on the ground that yes, it is a demand, but you have all the right to that demand based on the legitimacy of your motives.

Nobody likes the demands of others, but everybody submits to them, if the demanding party has strong enough reasons for their demands. There can be any number of sources of legitimacy for demands, as outlandish as those demands bay be. Among the most popular we can include:

  • The invocation of “Common Sense”

  • Good manners

  • Freedom of will and / or expression

  • The right to independence and auto-determination

  • Logic

And we have a code of honor among all of us demanding humans:

YOU CAN ONLY BLAME ANOTHER PERSON FOR BEING DEMANDING IF YOU ARE NOT DEMANDING YOURSELF

But the catch is you cannot not be demanding, because everybody is. So we are all safe as long as we are all playing the game. You just gotta play by the rules. You will get your own chance to be the one doing the demanding, if you agree to the same rules of legitimacy that obligates you to give to the person demanding from you what he wills, regardless of your own contrary will if he has legitimate arguments.

So it’s always a law-suit, with two parties, the demander and the one demanded of, one of them claiming legitimacy of his REASONS TO DEMAND, and the other claiming the i-legitimacy of the demander’s reasons. But of course, there’s no judge and one of them will get the short end of the stick. Either the demander gets what he wants but the person being demanded from is furious that he has to perform an act contrary to his desires. Or the person being demanded from gets to follow his heart, but then the demander is severely dissatisfied that he did not get what he wanted.

So we soon learn, from early childhood even, that COMPROMISE is the way of this world, that we all compromise and that all must to it in order to survive and to get along with each other. And if you dare challenge this law of compromise, then it is not the others who wrongly banish you for bad behavior, it is you yourself who cast yourself out of that tribe you feel you don’t belong to.

In this set of circumstances, if you intend to be the only person breathing who does not make compromises, then you are forced to live in a world all of your own, and the majority would die to find out how you fare out there all alone, knowing full well that you cannot provide for yourself the money, the food, the shelter, the security, the acceptance, the love they pay with the currency of compromise and submitting to other’s people legitimate demands.

“Sure. They say. Be independent and free. Go rebell to your heart’s content. We’ll see just how long you manage to last. Oh and by the way, say Hello to Nobody for me if you see him. If you weren’t so damn arrogant and didn’t want everybody to play by your rules, if you bent your head just a little like all of us do, we’d take you in. But you insist being Mr. or Mrs. I’m so fabulous I don’t play by your rules. I’ve got my own ones and they’re better. Ok, knock yourself out. But don’t come to us seeking help when you fail.”

But nobody even dares to think not of condemning the person being demanding, but DEMANDING itself. Nobody thinks to point the finger not at the person infected with the Flew, but at the Flew itself. Nobody is thinking of unmasking the real villain around here and telling the raw truth: that we humans are not the problem. But demanding itself IS. And there’s no cutting corners on this one. Any human that is demanding is 100% as innocent as any human who is not demanding at all. But demanding itself, well that’s a whole other story.

Cause see, these may well be the ramblings of a madman, and you’ll have to decide that for yourself, but the way I figure it, all of humanity is taking all the blame and hardship that no man should carry for the sake of protecting one of our dearest viruses: Being demanding. I figure it’s about time we let demanding demand all it wants, but let it carry its own weight, cause we’ve been carrying it on its behalf for half past waaaay too long.

We’ve broken our collective backs and turned brother against brother and lover against lover all for the sake of defending a game that may have served its purpose once, and for that we thank it, but nowadays it is SEVERELY outdated and threatening to suck all the peace and life out of our days if we don’t stop this collective insanity we’re all part of.

Demanding will do none of us any good. It will just keep us spinning the same hamster wheel we’ve always been spinning and always will be spinning if we don’t decide to do otherwise. And meanwhile we’ll keep wondering why pollution runs rampant, governments are still corrupt, the quality of life is still low, diseases are still running amok, food is still not plentiful and poverty has not yet been eradicated. And we’ll not even think that it has anything to do with the fact that we keep putting the demand on other people’s actions to conform to a norm that we ourselves are imposing.

As powerless as we pretend to be, and as disempowered as we pretend to be by those who do not want us being more powerful than they are because they are jealous, it is my belief that we have crowned ourselves Kings and Queens of too high a station, but not out of ambition and egocentrism as many would have us believe, but out of fear.

We’re all afraid, and I think we can all understand that no individual being is blamable for being afraid. If you were drowning, would you consider that in order for you to live you have to push Joe over there to his death, would you have the breath or the presence of spirit to think about the noble thing to do? I doubt it. You would be consumed with defending your own life, Joe over there would be to your emotional system little more than a simple tree would.

You would regret pushing him to die after you’ve survived, of course, but when you are gripped by panic or fear or anger, you cannot be asked to be sane. Nobody can. We can no more blame any individual person for his fear and insanity than we can blame ourselves for it.

But still, while it can be stated will full confidence that there is no individual we can blame for the collective mess we’re all in, each of us, individually has the responsibility to get to know his own fear and befriend it, and when it rears its head, learn to pat it on the belly and play with it instead of fearing it will eat you and your children alive, as we fear now.

And maybe if we would all be willing to do that little thing, to just be with our fear, get to know it, get to like it and ultimately get to cherish it and love it, we could begin to treat other humans that happen to , for a time, be in our lives not as parents or child, not as lovers or consorts, not even as friends, but as PERSONS, HUMANS, BEINGS.

In the words of wise master Yoda “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter”. Each and every one of us, though we have a parent, we are nobody’s child. Even though we may have a lover, we are nobody’s consort. Even though we have a leader or a boss, we are nobody’s underling. We are not some-THING. Not even some-ONE. Not even some-BODY, even though we do have one.

I AM is to be. And being is not something. It is a pulsation, it is a radiance, it is an emanation, one which you may have overlooked for far too long. Wondering what role I fill, if I like my role and how well are others filling the roles I have assigned to them we all but forgot about our being-ness.

So preoccupied with our what-ness or our doing-ness, our being-ness was left on the wayside, and because it never talked, we never bothered to wonder or to ask. It just stood there patiently and loyally, just as it does now. Are we finally ready to answer the call to look at our being-ness instead of wondering if we are playing our role well or if others are playing theirs according to our script?

Ok, I get it, it was a nice play. How about some curtains and a heartfelt round of applause for all the wonderful actors. We put on a grand show, right? One we and our children will remember for ages to come. Boy, I wish everybody would read this right now and we could all clap our hands for 5 minutes straight at the same time, in gratitude and respect for all the wonderful role-players out there. I wish every human being felt the applause of every other human being as if they were clapping just for him.

I am clapping right now, for you and for all the other actors out there. But I’m of the opinion that it’s curtains for this show and it’s time for a new one, cause after all, THE SHOW MUST GO ON, right?