Updated: December 25, 2015 8:42:40 pm
The basic human tendency is that of dependence. Society, which is a by-product of civilisation, is all about inter-dependence. It is a support system that is mutually dependent. Each part draws from the others what it lacks and offers to the others what they need. This makes it a self-sustaining entity.
The exchange may be material, physical, financial, emotional, intellectual or spiritual in nature. This exchange provides us with a stable image of ourselves. It is warm and nourishing and the support that we get from it defines us to a certain degree, at least in worldly parlance.
This inter-dependence is conducive for our able functioning in the world. In fact, paradoxical as it may sound, our mutual dependence makes us ‘independent’. Since our needs are balanced by way of exchange, we operate with a healthy self-esteem.
So when does this ‘inter-dependence’ hamper our ‘independence’?
The society operates on constant exchange of energy — be it financial, emotional, and so on. Whenever there is an imbalance in the exchange, whether it’s an organisation, an institution or a unit, the relationship becomes dysfunctional. While the material, physical and financial imbalance is quite evident, the imbalance in emotional, intellectual and spiritual exchange is not so conspicuous. When we start to draw more from people than we give back, we surrender our independence to them. We constantly seek them out to solve our problems.
However, when we seek the help of a shrink, a teacher (guru) or an astrologer, there is still an exchange of fee (in cash or kind). Whether these solutions are temporary or permanent in nature is a debatable issue.
But when we make it a habit to unburden our share of problems and negativities on people around us, they don’t entertain us for long. This is because — like parasites — we feed on their energy and it becomes a one-sided transaction. We sap positive energy from people without adding to their resource of positive energy.
In such a scenario, people do realize that their energy is being depleted in the monologue of maladies. They entertain us as long as they have vested interest or get their share of entertainment on our account, but once they’ve outgrown the novelty of our woes, they shut us out.
‘Trade’ is the only language the world understands. The language of ‘give and take’. The ego, with which we operate in the world, always keeps scores. So, whether the transaction is tangible or intangible, there has so be an exchange. People who think they’ve outwitted this language by free loading on others, live in denial. There’s nothing like ‘free lunch’ here. Sooner or later they end up paying for every pay off they’ve received.
The society is only a reflection of the way existence works. It believes in ‘Fair Trade’. Play fair and it supports you, tilt the balance and it shuns you. Because in the game of ‘samsara’ (the world) there is no pay off without a trade off.