I realised that when I wrote the titles for this series of columns that the words ” Untouchable ” had an echo within the caste system on the Indian subcontinent. No such connection was intended – those who worry about it can comfort themselves that the actual caste or class situation is covered by a series of words in Hindi and the other subcontinental languages – ” Untouchable ” is just a good cover word in English for the concept. Peace, Brothers.
Making a list of unpleasant things, people, places, and situations sounds like nothing but trouble – a procedure that could only make us feel bad. Possibly for some people, but in my case it is having a positive effect on me. I am feeling better.
Perhaps it is like the business of lying on a psychiatrist’s couch and rambling onwards. Talk long enough and you let slip the root causes of your problems – and possibly let the therapist find some way of easing them. Think long and write an honest list and you might be able to see clearly into your own mind…and do a similar amount of good for yourself.
You’ll be asking yourself some serious questions:
Do you hate thinking or dealing with a particular topic? Ditto about certain people? Real hate?
Why? There might be a very good reason…If so, recognise this and carry on. You know your own life better than anyone.
Is this hatred affecting you now? How? How long has it been going on?
If you write it down and encapsulate it in a list, can you go on even further and leave it in the past?
Saints and philosophers might be able to look at that list, crumple it up, and throw it away. Those of us who are not on that elevated plane of piety or knowledge would to well to keep it – well hidden – and to use it as a warning device in our daily lives. It might save our social standing and credibility.
There’s a terrible temptation abroad in the aether to air all our opinions on social media. We lay ourselves open to all the other people who want to express an opinion, and some of them are just looking for a chance to make us feel small. If we let them see the list we give them valuable targeting information about ourselves, and it always comes back to bite. We do far better to honestly make our list, honestly abide by it, and do so in strict secrecy.
Part three – are you on my list yet? Would you like to be?