Are you not happy with yourself as you are?
Do you want to become someone else?
THE IMAGE MANAGEMENT TRAP
Are you happy with yourself as you are?
Are you happy with the way you look?
Are you happy with your entire persona?
Think about it.
Close your eyes, reflect, and think about all aspects of your entire self - your body, your personality, your physical appearance, your mental faculties, your social graces, your talent and your soft skills, your overall unique identity.
Are you jealous of others?
Especially, do you envy those who you think are “better” or “smarter” than you?
Do you crave to be like them and yearn to acquire all their qualities?
Are you obsessed with the quest for perfection?
Are you so desperate for a “makeover” that you are trying all sorts of things in order to “improve” yourself?
Do you go to beauty parlours, salons, spas, gyms, personality“development”, finishing schools, dance classes - you do anything and everything to change your personality in the desperate quest to become someone else.
Why are you not happy with yourself as you are?
Why do you want to become someone else?
If you are not happy with yourself as you are, then you must read this story about the dangers of image management and cosmetic engineering.
THE STORY OF THE EXOTIC GOAT
Once there lived a Goat – an ordinary looking goat - who lived wild and free in the mountains.
One day while grazing in the forest, the goat saw a Giraffe, and the goat said to himself, “I wish my neck was as long as the giraffe.”
Lo and Behold!
The goat’s neck suddenly became as long as the giraffe’s.
Delighted, that he could now see far and wide, the goat saw an Eagle flying high in the sky.
“I wish I had wings like that eagle,” wished the goat... and instantaneously, wings appeared on the goat’s body.
Thrilled, the goat flapped its newly acquired wings, when he suddenly he spotted aTortoise.
The goat admired the beautiful hard shell of the tortoise, and said to himself, “I wish I had a strong hard invincible body like the shell of the tortoise,” and instantly his wish was granted – the goat’s back turned into the shell of a tortoise.
The goat felt ecstatic and impregnable, till he suddenly saw a Cheetah speeding across the horizon running at high speed.
“I wish I had legs like the Cheetah,” the goat wished, and miracle of miracles, the goat’s legs immediately became like the Cheetah.
Now the goat was truly overjoyed, on cloud nine, till he saw the enchanting sight of a beautiful Peacock with majestic feathers dancing magnificently.
“I wish I had gorgeous feathers like the peacock,” he wished, and in a jiffy the goat’s wish was granted, and the goat now had dazzling copious plume of colourful feathers.
Adorned with the neck of the giraffe, the wings of the eagle, the shell of the tortoise, the legs of the Cheetah and the feathers of the peacock, the Goat felt jubilant, supreme, regal, on top of the world, and strutted around grandiosely in majestic pride.
A Hunter passing by suddenly saw this unique stunning creature and he marvelled for a moment as he couldn’t believe his eyes.
The hunter stared in fascination and gawked enthralled and was mesmerized at the bizarre and fascinating creature he had never seen before.
After looking spellbound at the fantastic “Goat” for some time, the hunter recovered his wits and decided to capture this exotic priceless gem.
So the hunter cast his net, caught the “Goat” and sold this amazing “never-seen-before” and “one-of-its-kind” exclusive creature at an astronomical price to the zoo.
Large crowds gathered at the zoo, and everyone gaped in awe at this astonishingly exotic creature, fascinated by the awesome sight.
The exotic “Goat” spent the rest of its life in captivity locked up in a cage, weeping and crying, and he wondered why even those other ordinary goats, his erstwhile fellow brethren, who were wandering about freely and unnoticed in the zoo gardens, did not recognize him.
This apocryphal story, a parable, highlights the dangers of trying to be everything and exemplifies the ramifications of ensnaring yourself into the Beauty Trap of your own making.
Dear Reader, tell me, is it not much better to accept ourselves as we are rather than chase elusive dreams of “perfect beauty”?
Why is it that we are not happy with ourselves as we are?
These days everybody wants to be “perfect” in all aspects, physically and intellectually.
Everyone wants to have a “picture perfect” body, a shapely figure “perfectly sculpted” in all dimensions, and look “perfectly beautiful”, and have a flawless complexion, and be absolutely “perfect”, and to achieve this goal some are ready to do all sorts of things, exoteric, even esoteric, maybe even go under the scalpel.
Even spiritually, you are constantly chasing elusive dreams of happiness and enlightenment, becoming a “seeker", trying to “improve” yourself, when the key to self enlightenment is inside you, waiting for you to look inwards and discover for yourself.
Why are we are not satisfied with ourselves as we are?
Why do we not cherish our own unique identity?
Why do we want to have all possible qualities and attributes, intellectual and physical?
Why do we try to “fake it” and try to wear a mask of pretense?
Why do we try to develop “social graces” that are in conflict with our inner nature and basic personality?
Why are we obsessed with the quest for perfection?
Whenever you don't feel happy about yourself, as you are, and get obsessed with “improving” yourself, remember the story of the Goat who tried to be everything and lost his own identity and, most importantly, he lost his freedom.
It is always best to be happy with your own unique identity, albeit not so perfect, rather than try to be everything because in the quest for perfection and imitation you may lose your own identity.
MORAL OF THE STORY :
Don’t try to “manage” or manipulate your image.
Don’t try to change your unique identity.
Just be yourself.
Don’t try to become someone else.
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
I am sure you will like all the 27 stories in my recently published book of short stories COCKTAIL
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Foodie Book: Appetite for a Stroll
About Vikram Karve
A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a large number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.
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