Rigidity Vs Flexibility

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“No, I want it as pink only”, my 4 year old niece repeated her statement nth time in 1 hour of our shopping excursion in the crowded market. I was feeling frustrated, tired and exhausted after trying to coax her that there are other colours pretty enough to be tried. Her rigidity with her colour choice made the task of choosing her birthday gift a uphill task for both of us.
Though I could not argue with her on the rationality of being flexible owing to her age, however the scenario made me ponder on the waste of effort and energy caused by rigidity in our ways of work, choices or lifestyle. Rigidity to accept the change around us is root cause to most of our frustration and stress. We create some sort of rules or guidelines for all the patterns in life ranging from eating habit, clothing etc to relations we build, that blind us. We observe and choose life around us through the lens of the rules we fix upon ourselves.
If we see rationally, the placement of glasses on the dining table or colour of the living area wall does not make that big a difference in our lives but we choose to give it a life and death choice kind of treatment. We are miffed to find anything out of place from the place we have decided for the thing. We invest enormous energy and at times our relations in these small things. A change is a sign of growth and should always be accepted with enthusiasm. It opens scope for us to try new things and learn something new, devoid of whether it turns out to be good or not so good experience. Even if the experience does not suit our bill we atleast know the reason and have experience of not liking it rather than some assumption.
Rigid reaction to every event keeps us highly stressed and can hamper our work. A flexible mind is always open and can give a holistic view to the situation. Many a times flexibility is labelled as being weak and lacking the depth. Whereas being flexible gives us option to look at options, it never enforces the options on us. The final choice remains with us always and we can stick to the original option. The problem is when we build a mental block to not even look at the available options.
Aristotle has correctly pointed
It is mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it.
I am sure Aristotle would have agreed that such a mind is an agile and growth oriented mind. Such people choose to see the world beyond their perceptions.
My sister regrets that she never tasted the Indian blueberry in childhood when she had it available in plenty. Somehow she felt she will not like it and there was a rule formed which prevented her form giving it a try. It is one of her favourite fruits now, but she will not get the lost time back.
This may not be a very critical point and big loss. However if we see around us we can find people stumbling due to their rigid viewpoint. The elasticity and adaptability added by agile thought process helps us to be more relevant and rational. Rigidity at times tends to fathom our ego and we miss noticing same. We may be loosing a lot of life lessons and adventures just by sticking to our own rules and set patterns.
Freedom is said to be a blessing and everything alive wants it. Where freedom from external forces is important, in same way we need to free our spirit from baseless and rudiment rules we create around.
We feel that by being agile and flexible we are compromising on the sincerity and discipline towards our role. If we observe the practises around meditation and yoga which need sincerity and discipline to master them, the first lesson taught is to flex our muscles as well as mind. Any physical or mental rigidity will never yield the results as expected.
Rigidity leads to stagnation. Water that is flowing is seen as a source of life, same water when becomes stagnant represents death. Let us keep a check on our elasticity to see how much we are open to growth and learning.


Learner for life, from life