Last week I wrote about old people in India and in the west and when thinking about this topic, I had some more thoughts about how people treat their own feelings in the west. One thing that I have noticed again and again on my journeys is that you are supposed to show as little of them as possible – especially of negative emotions. People seem afraid of showing their emotions.
When I say this, I am talking about real emotions and not the fake laughter and the false tears that you see with some people, in some countries more, in others less. No, it is not about the mask of happiness that you usually see and not about the drama that some people show. It is about the real feeling that comes deep from the heart. The feeling that lets you weep until you are exhausted or which lets you jump because you feel you could fly with all the happiness you have inside.
But in the west I don't see people weep or jump. At least not very often and mostly not in situations in which feelings are really deep. In those situations I see them become serious as though nothing could touch them.
Just take the example of the decision whether to put your mother or father or grandfather or grandmother into a home for the elderly. It is not that people are themselves not aware that this is not an ideal solution, to say the least. They even speak about it openly and say 'we in the west throw our old ones out and let strangers take care of them'. They say it until they are themselves in that situation. And at that point they realize that they will do it themselves, because of the system. But it hurts. Oh yes, it does, until deep inside. And what do you see? No emotions when the topic comes up.
There are thousands of situations in which people don't express their feelings, be that in friendships or relationships, when you talk about death or when you have any problem. I understand that you don't let every emotion out in front of everybody else but what about your friends and family?
The winner is the one who shows no emotions.
Do I have to say that it should not be like this? Do I have to say that we should be able to cry, to feel bad and let it out and also to show others our real inner feelings? It is again about being who you are, accepting yourself and not hiding your feelings. You can trust people only when you know them and you can only get to know them if they show what they feel. So make a start and show what you feel.
Then you win because you show your emotions.