I learned two new Hindi words today, greedy लालची and unconscious बेहोश.

I make it a point to remember at least one new idiom every twenty-four hours, because Rome was not built in day and neither is my vocabulary.

At first glance it may seem that these two words have nothing in common, yet when you pay a little more attention you may realize that they are indeed related. In an opposite kinda way. Same but different. Do you see that?

Hear me out. 

The Oxford Dictionary’s definitions for ‘greedy’ are, 

  1. having an excessive desire or appetite for food.
  2. having or showing an intense and selfish desire for wealth or power.

While the ones for ‘unconscious’ are,

  1. not awake and aware of and responding to one’s environment.
  2. done or existing without one realizing.

I don’t know about you, but in my life’s journey I have stumbled upon more than one human stuck on the path of greediness. I want this, this is mine, I need to get and get and get: this their modus operandi more often than not. Like a perennial Walmart sale: you don’t need anything, but you buy it anyway because why not. 

To be honest I too have been greedy, I am greedy still, alas, although being more aware of it I stop myself on this dangerous track before letting it affects my actions. Like pressing on the train’s breaks right in front of the railroad crossing. I have looked at, analyzed, dissected this empty emotion like observing a microbe under the microscope and I have come to realize that greediness is similar to a disease, a coping mechanism we fall prey of as a way to help ourselves with sadness or loneliness, or both. A way to fill the void in the broken heart, as if by wrapping it with unnecessary things or power it may heal itself, thus making us feel at ease, at last. It doesn’t work like that.

There can be greediness in the way we eat. Have you ever taken the time to reflect on the food you put into your mouth, how much of it, how many times a day? Is the stomach really hungry? Come to think of it, I can easily see the correlation between filling the belly in the hope of filling other parts that need being complete, at ease, like lounging on your favorite couch after a long day at work: reassuring, comforting, at home. But like a ballon, how much air can you blow into it before it explodes? How much can you feed yourself before it no longer pleases you and you’ve got to look for something else to fill the empty space in you?

I know for a fact, because I have been there, that that extra piece of brownie, as chocolaty as it may look, it’s not going to make us feel better. It’s not going to save us from the inner demons, yes we all have some. One thing I know for sure is that the only way out of sadness, anger, jealousy, greediness, is through that which brings us pain, like walking inside a dark room with shaky legs.

So the above thoughts bring me to the second word, unconscious. Not conscious. Because this, I find out, is precisely where we end up when we fall pray to desires and wants and accumulations. Like a tall pile of newspapers accumulated over the years. When are you ever going to read them? And I tell you what, being selfish isn’t going to save us either. I used to believe that if I kept my heart safe without sharing it with anyone, if I were greedy with it, I was going to suffer less. I was going to feel less miserable, whatever that misery was that didn’t and still doesn’t even have a name. 

There is a word in German, Weltschmerz, it means melancholy, world sadness. It wears you down like a heavy winter coat worn under the Indian summer’s heat, making you feel dazed. It’s like walking though life with eyes wide closed. I wonder how Gandhari felt all her life not being able to see, but I’m getting off topic here. 

Moral of the story, if we want to participate in the dancing of life and why wouldn’t we? I mean we were gifted with it might as well go for it full force, let’s do it with awareness, mindfulness, and consciousness like peeling the juiciest peach, watching its skin roll off the knife piece by piece. Al that remains is sweetness, may it softly melt into your mouth.   

Thanks for reading ❤️