Saturday, May 29, 2010

Creative Solitude

For replacing bad habits with good ones

Solitude is a blessing for creative artists, thinkers, writers, Sufis, saints and yogis.  But, can ordinary people get any benefit from solitude?  Yes, they can and they should.

Have you ever thought about creating solitude, not to solve a problem but, to derive a conclusion that could change your habits, personality, character and ultimately lifestyle?

Let me explain it the other way.  I remember that until a few years back, perhaps till 2005, whenever I had to stop at a traffic signal and the driver of a public wagon or bus honked his horn to cross the road while the red light was on, I could not tolerate it.  This nastiest act used to enrage me to such an extent that I usually got myself messed up in a sort of brawl with the drivers.  The outcome was always more disturbing for me.  And I am dead sure that it was always only me who regretted, repented and paid a heavy price for it.  Such encounters started causing unfelt damage to my sanity that I realized much later.

Then one evening while I stopped at the red signal, a car pulled right behind me and the driver started honking the horn like hell.  I switched off my bike's engine, went back and asked him if he could see the red signal?  An old lady who looked like the guy’s mother or aunt replied “sorry son, we have a female patient with us and she needs to be in a hospital urgently”.  I moved away my bike and let them pass.

The same night I deliberately created a segment of solitude and put the question to my self, “should I always react outrageously to honking of horns at a red traffic signal?”  My mind presented many cogent reasons and justifiable arguments for doing so.  Yet, my personal and conscious decision was that I would never react like that again and I also swore to myself that I would never cross a red signal unless it would be a matter of saving someone’s life.  I do not cross red signals even at 3:00 a.m. in a chillingly cold winter night!  (Though I never did so since 1970 when I first got a bicycle except for three occasions of extreme emergency.)

Thank Lord, that single decision has saved me from innumerable situations that could have deprived me of my sanity.  I derived some golden resolutions for myself through creative solitude and now:

  • I respect every woman as a woman being regardless of her colour, cast, occupation or activities 
  • I never spit on the road or even on the side-walk 
  • I do not throw wrappers of biscuits or chocolates outside garbage-cans 
  • I do hate smoking, but not smokers any more  
  • I do not attend a mobile phone call while driving or bike-riding  
You can develop good habits or change the bad ones through creative solitude.  Just try once and share your experience with us.

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