All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players; they have their own exits and their entrances….’ I first came across these words of Shakespeare right above the fireplace of our school’s drama hall, and on my every visit there, my tongue rarely forgot to pick them up. The words holding truth, they often sprout in my mind and I have begun seeing life through them.
However old we may be and wherever we may be – each one of us plays a role. With marching time, our roles change and we may have to play multiple roles at the same time. But how we perform makes all the difference. Some perform well, some don’t. Some beautifully juggle their many roles despite the challenges, and some fail to handle even one.
However, what we fill ourselves with can greatly affect our performances, be it courage, fear, ego, anger or kindness. Which is why, there are many who continue to pursue and aspire to a diabolical attitude, while some go on rolling out benevolence. There are also those who remain victims, embracing fear as a crutch and some muster the courage to fly above any hurdle, inspiring many.
Our roles are also influenced, rather negatively, when we stay lost in the lives of others, and in the process, constantly dwelling on ifs and buts, turning a deaf ear to Alexander Pope’s advice: ‘Act well your part; there all the honour lies.’
We suffer when we overlook our own individuality and continue wearing mask after mask that are ill-fitting as they don’t belong to us. Also, when we fail to value the present – keeping one foot glued in the past, other in the future.
Thankfully, many wake up by shedding away bad performances, realising the magic of Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu’s wise thought, ‘If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.’ One can make such a choice, anytime, anywhere, which will eventually plant the seed of goodness in our lives.
Most importantly, our every action and our every word is noted for posterity long after we have left the so-called ‘world’s stage’. I feel our daily world, too, is a grand exhibition, always presenting us with lessons, if we have the right eye to catch them. Almost every scene, every story that surrounds us echoes to us what we should learn or unlearn. Again, the choice is ours.
But one thing is clear. Throughout our life’s journey, wherever it may take us – we either spread joy or snatch it away, and I can’t put it better than Oscar Wilde, who left behind this beautiful epiphany: ‘Some create happiness wherever they go; others whenever they leave.’ This shapes us and our life accordingly and we get known for it.
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