Saturday, October 7, 2017

Is Someone Watching?


(Image from pixabay.com)


The debate on the balance needed between the need for privacy and ensuring safety with public places being under watch is not new. Nor is the balance easy to define or practice. The movie “The Circle” explores this with the characters asking “People behave better when they are watched, don't they?”.

People do appear to behave better when watched – quite clearly under pressure to create the right impression with others. The wearing of masks when around others or when watched is widespread – in order to create favourable impressions and in some circumstances with the expectation of gaining something. Shedding originality and wearing masks comes at a price, and I had explored this in the blogs “The Price of Masks” and “The Water Reflection”.

The question though is - why do people not behave better when no one or nothing is watching them? After all – the mask is off, and you are now your original self! Well, as it turns out – while we take off the mask we wear consciously when alone, there is yet another mask beneath which has grown gradually over us and has also gotten thicker with time. This is the mask built by the conditioning of our mind over the years based on what we hear and experience. This mask holds our opinions, desires, feelings, and potentially prejudices. And this mask instigates us to act in selfish ways to satisfy our desires, at times in inappropriate ways when we think no one is watching.

It is this hardly visible but deeply ingrained mask that meditation can chip away at, if we allow it to.

Right from childhood, we are taught how to deal with others. Shouldn't we also learn how to deal with ourselves? And if we as people all find ourselves, just maybe, the premise that we behave better when we are watched will become a lie..

3 comments:

  1. Nice article. Human mind itself behaves right when we watch it and are aware of the thoughts So also, there are those who show their acquired behavior only when they
    are left alone.

    Undoing of notions and latent impressions, consciousnessly, is a hard task. However, meditation, for sure, cleanses and rectifies the errors.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks your comment! Yes - we need to build awareness of our thoughts..

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  2. Finding oneself is not easy; it is probably a life long pursuit. Till we achieve self realization, I guess we would all need a pair of eyes drawn on public walls to keep us in check!

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