To be or not to be?

Life keeps bringing us to a fork in the road, more often than not. The constant conundrum of “to do or not to do” or what to do, of picking the best option from the choices available to us, has the power to rob us of the ability to think clearly. Like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, we tend to drive ourselves out of our minds ruminating over the lot handed to us in life. We are so bothered by the discomfort of the past and so afraid of the uncertainty of the future that our peace of mind in the present gets sacrificed.

While watching an interview of the famous Hollywood star Will Smith, I finally found a semblance of an answer. When asked why he had decided to accept  a challenge to jump out of a helicopter- heli bungee, on his 50th birthday, Smith replied he hated being afraid. He said he “feared fear.” Something he said publicly could come back to haunt him or something he did could bring harm to his family. Isn’t that exactly what stops us from choosing a path, because we are functioning in doubt and fear? Smith hated the feeling of being tied by fear. So, he decided to stop being afraid. He started sharing his life on social media for people to see, he started to do everything he had ever been scared of doing. How beautiful a life it must be to live without the fear of consequences?

Easier said than done. It takes immense courage to put oneself out there for the world to scrutinize and criticize. However, nobody can escape criticism. It was Aristotle who said “To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing.” In the wisdom in his words lies the answer to our confusion. Inaction is automatic failure.

The only answer then is “to be.” Leave the worries behind about a past you cannot change and a future that might never be and address a situation with patience that you deserve, experience that you have gained and in keeping with the purpose you wish it to serve. Having lived life, no matter how old you are one thing omnipresent and omniscient is the struggle to take the right decisions. You overcome one and another one is waiting right around the corner. Take the risk, you might never find out that it’s worth it unless you do it. Allow yourself to think about any problem only till the extent of finding a solution and not generally over thinking it. Life is more about learning and growing than making the best choices. And don’t be afraid of making the wrong choice. After all, “bad decisions make the best stories.”

Harpreet Kaur Bhamra