Expert in today

January 31, 2020 § Leave a comment

I think the trick is to be not an expert sometime in the future at some great world-beating thing, but to be an expert in today. I know, well-known cliché perhaps, but whoever I’ve come across who’s good at this, seems to really be able to live well. They enjoy the smallest or simplest of experiences — like looking forward to a biryani lunch — with gusto and with everything they’ve got. My wife and son are two such people.

This of course doesn’t mean one shouldn’t attempt learning a new language or to learn to play a beautiful piece of music on a classical guitar. The difference is that the people who are expert at living today to the fullest won’t waste time in anguish over how they didn’t get a certain pronunciation right or a pluck a particular note correctly. They’ll just enjoy the practice.

I’m only beginning to learn to be like that, for I was raised to do everything perfectly. For example, eating with your hands — as in the case of a lot of Indian food — always meant only the tips of the fingers could come in contact with the food, never the palm or even the parts of the undersides of the fingers closer to the palm.

Apart from looking a tad neat for others who are equally OCD about such things, it is a completely useless skill. Yet, I can never eat any other way. And it was quite a struggle, involving much admonition of me by my wife that I learnt to not get my son to eat the same way. In such, small, insidious ways do we leech the joy out of the life of our own children. Imagine then the effect of bigger expectations that we burden them with.

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