Joy of Being Oneself.

Rajiv Vaishnav
8 min readApr 21, 2024

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WHY DOES EVERYBODY WANT TO PROVE AND TO ASSERT? WHAT IS THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND PROVING AND ASSERTING ONESELF? PLEASE EXPLAIN.

The psychology behind assertiveness, behind proving oneself, is very simple. Every child, from his very beginning, is told that he is not what he should be. Disciplines are given, commandments are given; he has to fulfil them. If he cannot, he starts feeling inferior. It seems that others are fulfilling them, only he is not capable.

And the inferiority complex is the basic mind disease out of which many diseases arise. No child is born with an inferiority complex. It is the parents, the teachers, the priests, the society, the culture, which are responsible for creating the inferiority complex in the child.

The only way for the child to get rid of it seems to be to prove himself worthy according to the expectations of others. It creates a very miserable situation. He is not growing towards his own potential; he is following guidelines given by others. He will become somebody else that he was not by his nature supposed to be. He will never be happy; misery is going to be his lot. He may be able to assert himself; he may not be able to prove he is worthy, or he may be able to prove he is — whatever the case, misery is going to be the end result.

If he proves worthy in the eyes of others and becomes respectable, he will smile — but in his being there will be no flowers blossoming. He will show that he is dignified, but deep down he knows he has betrayed himself. He has committed the greatest crime possible: he has betrayed his own nature. He has gone against existence and listened to all kinds of idiots. If he succeeds, then he is miserable. If he does not succeed, of course he is going to be miserable; he has failed. Others were right, that he is basically inferior, that he does not belong to the higher class, that he belongs to the lowest. It hurts — because no individual is higher and no individual is lower.

I do not mean by that that everybody is equal…I stand for man’s uniqueness. Yes, every person should be given equal opportunity to be his or herself. In other words, every person should be given equal opportunity to be unequal, to be unique. The opportunities can be given, but the mathematician should become a mathematician, and the musician should become a musician. But no society up to now has allowed the individual his freedom. You think that you are free. You are simply living in an illusion. Humanity will only be free the day there is no inferiority complex produced in children; otherwise, freedom is just hypocrisy. Others are trying to make you a puppet.

My whole life I had the problem….The intentions of the parents are not bad, the intentions of the teachers are not bad. I never suspect their intentions — but I suspect their intelligence. I suspect their understanding of human nature, its growth, its possibilities.

A healthy human being will not have an inferiority complex. And the other side of the story is: if you don’t have an inferiority complex, you will never try to be superior. There is no need to be superior to somebody, dominating somebody, having the upper hand over somebody, controlling somebody.

A person who has no desire to have power over others, to prove himself… because there is no need! He is alive, he is breathing, he is doing his thing; that is enough proof. He has made his signature. Certainly, it is his signature, not somebody else’s. And remember, if even your thumbprint is unique in the whole world, what about your being? If nature does not create two thumbs alike…. How much care! Not even by mistake do two thumbs have the same lines — and there are five billion people on the earth! (It is estimated by the United Nations that the number of living people on the earth has exceeded eight billion in mid Novermber 2022.)

Being is so significant that it is irreplaceable. You are just yourself. Do something that comes out of you — not to assert, but to express! Sing your song, dance your dance, rejoice in being whatever nature has chosen you to be.

If we can destroy the inferiority complex… which is very simple: the teachers and the parents just have to be aware not to impose themselves on the helpless children. And just within two decades the new generation will be free of the inferiority complex.

People will express their creativity. There will be musicians, there will be dancers, there will be painters, carpenters. There will be all sorts of creativity around the world. But nobody is competing with anybody else; They are simply doing thier best. It is their joy. The joy is not in competing, the joy is not in coming first; the joy is in doing it. It is not outside the act; it is intrinsic to the act. That’s my image of the new man. He works, but his work is his life, his very soul. Whatever he does, it does not matter.

I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln. He was the son of a shoemaker, and he became the president of America, Naturally, all the aristocrats, egoistic people were tremendously disturbed, annoyed, irritated, were very much offended that a shoemaker’s son should become the president. They were aristocrats, super-rich, who thought that it was their birthright to be in the highest post. But a shoemaker’s son?

On the first day, when he was going to give his inaugural presidential address to the Senate, just as he was going to stand up, one ugly aristocrat stood up and he said, “”Mr. Lincoln, although by some accident you have become the president of the country, don’t forget that you used to come with your father to my house to prepare shoes for our family. And there are many senators who are wearing the shoes made by your father, so never forget your origins.” And the whole senate laughed; they thought that they had made a fool of Abraham Lincoln. He was thinking he was going to humiliate him.

But you cannot humiliate a man like Abraham Lincoln. Only small people, suffering from inferiority, can be humiliated. The greatest of human beings are beyond humiliation.

Lincoln — and that type of person — is made of a totally different mettle. Abraham Lincoln said something which should be remembered by everyone. Lincoln looked at the man and said, “Sir, I am very grateful to you for reminding me of my father just before I give my first address to the Senate. My father was so beautiful, and such a creative artist — there was no other man who could make such beautiful shoes. I know perfectly well, whatever I do, I will never be such a great president as he was a great creator. I cannot surpass him. I know that my father used to make shoes in your house for your family, and there will be many others here… because the way he made shoes, nobody else can. He was a creator. His shoes were not just shoes, he poured his whole soul in it. I want to ask you, have you any complaint? — because I know how to make shoes myself; if you have any complaint I can make another pair of shoes. You just inform me, I will come to your house. But I know that nobody has ever complained about my father’s shoes. He was a genius, a great creator, and I am proud of my father!”

The whole senate was struck dumb. There was great silence in the Senate, and the senators understood that it was impossible to humiliate this man. He has shown a tremendous respect for creativity. They could not understand what kind of man Abraham Lincoln was. He had made shoemaking an art, a creativity. And he was proud because his father did the job so well that not even a single complaint had ever been heard. And even though he was the president of America, he was ready to make another pair if there was any complaint. The man looked silly. Lincoln insisted, “You have to speak! Why have you become dumb? You wanted to make me a fool, and now, look all around: you have made a fool of yourself.”

It does not matter what you do. What matters is how you do it — of your own accord, with your own vision, with your own love. Then whatever you touch becomes gold.

Osho: From Bondage to Freedom: Chapter #31: Chapter title: Democracy means mediocracy (Excerpts)

बच्चों के छोटे हाथों को चाँद सितारे छूने दो
चार किताबें पढ़ कर ये भी हम जैसे हो जाएँगे ………….निदा फ़ाज़ली

bachchoñ ke chhoTe hāthoñ ko chāñd sitāre chhūne do
chaar kitābeñ paḌh kar ye bhī ham jaise ho jā.eñge …………………….NIDA FAZLI

Let the kids aspire to touch the moon and stars
they too will become like us after reading a few books.

While going through this discourse, I was remembering this wonderful sequence from the film “3 idiots”. Just as a reminder, I am sharing the link. View it before you listen to the song.

इम्तिहान की घड़ी | 3 Idiots | Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi (youtube.com)

This beautiful and meaningful song is from the film “Tare Zameen Par” (2007), written by Prasoon Joshi, Music composed by Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy, sung by Shankar Mahadevan, Dominique Cerejo, Vivienne

Kholo Kholo (Full Song) Film — Taare Zameen Par (youtube.com)

Kholo Kholo Lyrics

Kholo kholo darwaze
Parde karo kinare
Khutey se bandhi hai hawa
Mil ke chhudao saare

Aajao patang leke
Apney hi rang leke
Aasmaan ka shamiyana
Aaj hamein hai sajana

Kyun is kadar hairaan tu
Mausam ka hai mehmaan tu
Duniya sajee tere liye
Khud ko zara pehchaan tu

Tu dhoop hain jham se bikhar
Tu hai nadee o bekhabar
Beh chal kahin ud chal kahin
Dil khush jahan teri toh manzil hai wahin

Kyun is kadar hairaan tu
Mausam ka hai mehmaan tu

Baasi zindagi udaasi
Taazi hasney ko raazi
Garma garma saari
Abhi abhi hai utaari

Oh zindagi to hain batasha
Meethi meethi si hai aasha
Chakh le rakh le
Hatheli se dhak le ise

Tujh mein agar pyaas hai
Baarish ka ghar bhi pass hai
Roke tujhe koi kyon bhala
Sang sang tere aakash hai

Tu dhoop hain jham se bikhar
Tu hai nadee o bekhabar
Beh chal kahin ud chal kahin
Dil khush jahan teri toh manzil hai wahin

Khul gaya aasmaan ka rasta dekho khul gaya
Mil gaya kho gaya tha jo sitara mil gaya

Roshan hui saari zameen
Jagmag hua saara jahaan
Oh udne ko tu aazad hai
bandhan koi ab hai kahan

Tu dhoop hain jham se bikhar
Tu hai nadee o bekhabar
Beh chal kahin ud chal kahin
Dil khush jahan teri toh manzil hai wahin

Oh kyun is kadar hairaan tu
Mausam ka hai mehmaan tu

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