I was watching my wife playing with our pet labrador. Always loving that they are, he was wagging his tail for all the names being showered on him. “Dennis. उल्लू का पठ्ठा. Stand up. You lazy moron” - She blurted prodding him to stand up as he was lying down after his morning feed.
As happy as always, he promptly started wagging his tail and stood up. Oblivious by the words and the meanings blurted at him. He was just happy that we were interacting with him. He was at peace.
Seeing him happy, a train of thoughts lead me from one subject to another. Just because he has muted his ego he is enjoying the moment. I would have been angry by now if I were to get showered by the aforesaid abuses blurted at me. In contrast he was happy being with us.
This jovial reaction to the abuses may be because of his lesser intellect than humans and that he was unable to understand the meaning of the word उल्लू का पठ्ठा. We are intelligent species and can think. That’s where we end up in a mess. Every word coming out of the other person is analysed, its meaning once realised we start noticing the intentions behind each blurted word, then connect the word with earlier episodes and derive meanings out of spoken and non-spoken words. We consider we have successfully decoded the spoken word. We may not remember the exact words previously spoken by the other person but we do recall how we had felt then, as feelings stick. In doing this the present moment is lost by us. Henceforth we don’t enjoy the moment but delve in the past and turn off our mood or start expecting to hear the very words which we would like to hear. When we hear words other than what we expect, we feel sad.
Such a negative reaction to the spoken word is natural as we have more intellect. Intellect to analyse the word. Intellect to hear non spoken words between the spoken words. Intellect to decipher the intentions behind the spoken words. The dog has fewer brains and so he can be happy at being called उल्लू का पठ्ठा and can enjoy the moment. For us, knowing the language, connotations and past situations, we derive in depth meaning out of that spoken word and become mostly unhappy.
What if we train ourselves to calibrate our mind, intelligence and ego like a volume control knob to suit the situations with an aim of choosing to be happy? Like a powerful aero engine which is derated. Derating is to use the engine at less than its rated maximum capability in order to prolong its life.
By toning down our intelligence a bit and not thinking always logically, especially with relatives and friends we would be happier. Listening to our heart gives more happiness than taking decisions based on our brain. Our relations with relatives and friends would endure more if we do what our heart says and keep our intelligence and logic at bay. This way we would enjoy the moment, get less stressed up and be happy. Brain may help us in bringing comforts, but in the long run, it is less helpful to keep us happy than the mind driven by our heart.