I just finished reading ” Paper Towns’ by John Green and am feeling unexpectedly moved. There is this part where the hero (an eighteen year old) is pissed off with his friend for not responding in the manner expected. That is when the author highlights a mistakes probably all of us commit.
While we at all times expect to be accepted the way we are…not just ‘accepted’ actually…but also liked the way we are. We expect people to ‘not be themselves‘. We insist on repeatedly causing ourselves hurt over a patterned behavior of a loved one.
Like the author points out…why be upset over the late arrival of a friend who is known to always be late? Isn’t it enough that he eventually turns up always? It is a simple thought really. One that encourages to accept a few flaws in light of the greater connect. And one that lets us have friends without being constantly hurt.
Another thought the author explored was about wisely choosing metaphors defining our lives. While a low phase in life can be compared to having ‘broken strings’; it can also be viewed as just a low phase which with the help of friends can be over-ridden. It is in defining our lives that we can actually change it. In the end we lose only if we metaphorically speaking – refuse to see the light.
“…there are a thousand ways to look at it: maybe the strings break, or maybe our ships sink, or maybe we’re grass—our roots so interdependent that no one is dead as long as someone is alive. We don’t suffer from a shortage of metaphors, is what I mean. But you have to be careful which metaphor you choose, because it matters. If you choose the strings, then you’re imagining a world in which you can become irreparably broken. If you choose the grass, you’re saying that we are all infinitely interconnected, that we can use these root systems not only to understand one another but to become one another. The metaphors have implications.”
The book is full of such little shafts of light that may go a long way in dispelling the gloom that sometimes results from a disquiet mind.