It is not for social responsibility or for social welfare or for the progress of humanity that you probably want to have a child. Ask yourself is it not because of social pressure instead that you are feeling the need to confirm. Surely somebody is pressurizing you. It is the prerogative of the Buddhas and the Saints to think of human welfare. And they have gone to human welfare only after they have done themselves a lot of good. Only after their own eyes have opened up do they start opening the eyes of the entire world. Have your own eyes opened up? Then how are you talking of the welfare of the mankind?
Have you been able to come to your own welfare? Don’t you see it is such a bizarre situation? You do not know your own welfare but you are intending the welfare of the world and that too how? By having sex and getting a kid.
What exactly is the thinking? What is the logic? What is the inner argument? Are we living in an age where populations have been wiped out by war or plague? Are we living in a country where the birth rates are so low that the government has to incentivize births? Are we living as tribes in a jungle that are in a danger of extinction due to their underpopulation? Are human beings the threatened species on this planet? Then how exactly are you thinking of social welfare through reproduction?
Don’t you see that it is just absurd? Instead, the matter of fact might be that you are feeling pressurized by social norms or by somebody, in particular, maybe somebody of the household. Maybe neighbors, relatives, maybe one of the old ladies in the house who are constantly bugging you to become a father or a mother. Or, maybe the movies that keep on telling you that unless you are a father, there is something missing in your life.
If you really intend anybody’s welfare and welfare is wonderful, I love it and respect it when you talk about the welfare of others.
Start with your own welfare. See what life is like, understand what sex is? Understand what is procreation? Know what it means to bring a baby into this world. Know what human being is and what his relationship with the society must be? Know what is birth? Know what is bad for a human being? Only then you will know that in which lies human welfare.
If you find that you have fixed a schedule for yourself and you can’t stick to it, then that is a clear indicator that you have filled up your life with miserable tasks. One does not postpone joy. One does not postpone freedom and love. One only postpones suffering. And that is procrastination.
Kindly do not think that procrastination is about laziness. We often think that lazy people procrastinate. No, it’s not about laziness. It’s about the climate of the suffering mind. You want to escape the misery, so you are sending it away. You are saying it need not happen right now, it must happen at some other time. A mind that is immersed in the present will not procrastinate. And a mind that is continuously thinking of the future, will do nothing but procrastinate.
This question is a very good opportunity to find out whether that kind of living is possible. And whenever the mind wants to defer something, wants to send it to the future, then ask the mind, ‘What is it that you are not liking? What exactly are you not liking?’ Pause and ask, ‘What are you not liking? Why are you sending this away to future? It’s a bad treatment that you are giving me.’
Procrastination is like saying, ‘Don’t get hurt today, get hurt tomorrow.’ But ultimately you are admitting that hurt is inevitable. Today or tomorrow it will happen. Instead of this kind of a dejected surrender, ask, ‘Is it really inevitable? Why don’t I like something? Why don’t I like anything? Why is it so that I feel bored always?’
You are talking of procrastination probably with respect to some activity. But ask yourself, ‘Is there anything that I would rather not procrastinate?’ Given the opportunity, we would not do anything. Just send off everything to future. Nothing matters. There is nothing in life that is important because we have actually never found anything which is important. That’s true. That’s just true.
Find out that to which you can dance. Find out that which you can do even without being paid. I am not saying that don’t get paid. But find that out which you can do even without being paid. Find out a loving way of life. One never procrastinates love. Otherwise you are asking for a very miserable, very dreary existence. Don’t do that!
Question: Does procrastination imply that the priorities in the life are wrong?
Acharya Prashant: What is this thing about sending something, delegating something to the future. What is this thing about procrastination? Would you ever postpone something to the future if you are really in love with it? Would you do that? You would not do that, right? But then procrastination happens to be a way of life with most of us.
We will do it tomorrow!
What does it tell us about the quality of our life?
We are not in love with what we are doing. We don’t find joy in it and hence there is a tendency to lose time. Continue reading →