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Looking beyond the visible

 

Recently, two completely un-related incidences happened in my life.

Incidence number1:

In the middle of a tremendously hectic week, in the   scorching heat of 50 degree C of a temperature, after nearly 20 hours of almost continuous work, I reached home and then my most favourite place – My lovely room!

I entered and I quickly reached out to the remote control of the air conditioner.

I pressed the big, red button, but nothing happened…

I pressed the button again, but nothing happened really.

I pressed again a few more times, but The AC did not start….

I speculated that this could be something with the remote itself, so I leaned over to the actual AC box and pressed start button over their.

To my surprise, nothing happened this way either.

I pressed several different buttons and even turned round the regulator button knob, but it did not even get illumined.

 

So, something went haywire with my dear AC and I had no heck of an idea what to do about it. That night I had to sleep under the fan and its been crazy as the fan was attached to ceiling that already got freaking hot due to literally 50 degree Celsius of a temperature so the fan was only producing something that could barely be distinguished if it was air or fire.

Next day, repairing engineer came, opened the box, fixed and tossed certain wires and parts and it finally began working.

 

Incidence number 2:

We launched a new product for client and we were to provide technical support as per agreed contract. To my consternation, two people from my staff have decided to take un-declared, non-sanctioned leave. As there was already a high volume of calls requiring support for one thing or the other and there was no-one else who knew the product in-out, I chosen to be the support operator for the day.

This is how a typical call went:

Customer:  “I don’t understand what the fuck this is. I just clicked start button on your software and there’s only a black screen. Is this what you made your software for?”

Me: “I apologise for inconvenience, mam. Can you please provide me more detail about your hardware and operating system?”

Customer: “I do not fucking know that! Your software must know that in fact. I paid for it!”

Me: “I regret the disappointment you had to face, mam, but I’ll need to know the details of your system in order to provide you the solution to the issue. Can I take your system on remote and look at the problem myself?”

Customer: “Hmm, better. Go do that quick”

Me: “Thank you for the permission, mam.  I request you to kindly provide your remote meeting ID so that I can connect to your computer”

Customer: “Gosh, I’ve got no idea where can I find that. Can’t you get that yourself? All that I have is this fucking software that’s got this black screen”

Me: “Sorry, mam.  Unfortunately, I can only connect to your system if I had the remote meeting ID. Would you like to please try out the steps about how to retrieve the ID if I share them with you?”

Customer: “Ok, but I really got no idea. You, customer reps. make us clients do everything, even solving issues”

Me: “I apologise for the inconvenience, mam. Please click minimize button and get to your desktop”

Customer: “Ok done”

Me: “Now, please click the blue, remote control icon”

Customer: “Ok done”

Me: “I appreciate that. Now, you have a green colour button that says ‘get connected now’. Please click that”

Customer: “Ok. How much you would make me to work. I’m fed up!”

Me: “We’re almost done mam. You only have to tell me the ID that you can now see on your screen. It’s a 9 digit number”

{Customer told the number, and I got connected. I’ve done several things and finally, issue rectified, customer satisfied!}

 

While both these incidences are completely un-related, there’s one similarity that I found when I’ve been simply thinking about them:

The buttons…!

 

In both these instances, either me or other person been relying on buttons throughout the process, whether it was about me pushing different buttons on remote and AC to make air conditioner to start, client pressing different buttons to make software to work and even me pressing different buttons to rectify the issue. While pressing buttons on the remote control and the AC box, I had no idea what might be happening by me pressing them. Similarly, the client, while I’ve been asking her to press certain buttons had no idea at all, neither she got any idea when I pressed several buttons and finally rectified the issue.

 

How amazingly important buttons have become in our lives. So much important that when buttons don’t work, we have to suffer and feel frustrated.

We press the doorbell button, we hear the doorbell ring. We press the elevator button, it lights up. We press the button on the vending machine, a soft drink comes rattling down the chute.

Whole life, we’ve pressed different buttons to get the things done.

The thing about buttons, though, is there seems to be some invisible magic taking place between the moment you press them down and when you get the expected result.

 

We’re always just concerned about the result that we need, but if you look at it carefully, so much going on during the process of producing the result   that you get once you press the button.

Maybe there’s a man inside who pulls out the can of soda and puts it in the chute. Maybe there’s a camera watching the machine, and someone in a distant control room tells the machine to dispense your pop. Maybe there’s a big, huge programming/algorithm code written behind the icons/virtual buttons that you’re pressing on the computer.

Most times, we’ve got no idea, we do not care and we only see what’s visible (The buttons).

I’ve been a software developer for several years now and I can tell how buttons are created and how much of brain-boggling code goes behind the pretty buttons you see 😉

 

This is what we do in our lives too, you know!

Not ever looking beyond what’s visible (people with painted faces and fake smiles).

 

You meet them every day, it different forms and shapes. People, humans. Souls.

 

Have you ever stopped to wonder what lies beneath the layers of skin that one wears like a mask? What one might be hiding in an untold story?

The most seemingly normal people we meet on a day-to-day basis, friends, family members, colleagues, bus friend, train friend and what so ever.   People who appear just as happy and content as anyone else, might just be suffering silently from depression.

 

People suffering from Post-traumatic disorders and anxiety are often treated as the odd ones out, simply because they don’t “fit in” with the rest of the

Crowd. They’re looking for care, love, guidance, support and some of them prefer to make changes at their own pace, while they are rushed into becoming “normal” again.

 

The boy with cuts on his arms isn’t a coward.

 

The girl who chooses books over people isn’t stuck up, perhaps she just finds solace in words.

 

The woman who carries a bottle of sleeping pills in her bag isn’t an addict, perhaps she’s an insomniac in need.

 

The man you see staring at the same house every day isn’t crazy; he’s possibly looking at the home that destroyed him as a child.

 

The spouce who is always angry isn’t a psychopath, its possible that she’s having the issues you’ve never cared to understand.

 

We are colour blind, most of us, because we think everything is as it seems. Everything is definable, one-dimensional, and black and white. Truth is, we fail

To read between the lines, fail to see the real person behind the disguise. We think we understand everyone, assume a judgement and give names to people

Who might have built themselves from ashes or might be burning at that very moment, just not the old fashioned way.

It could be anyone, even a friend or family member and we’d often not realize what they’re going through.

 

Pain is just as real as happiness. Suffering is just as valid as celebration.

No one’s sorrow or experience is any less legitimate when compared to someone else’s. Just because a story hasn’t been told, hasn’t been published in bold,

Does not mean that it’s unreal.

 

What’s visible is only what we can see, it may not necessarily be what the reality is.

There’s often someone so much more real and lovable if you choose to see beyond  the visible smiling face, anger, fears, cynicism and tears.

Just like the invisible magic that goes behind the seen when you press the button, so much goes behind the mask with people too that you do not care to scratch. Sometimes, you protect that mask so much yourself that you do not let that be revealed.

 

Yes its often very difficult to see beyond the masks, beyond the smiles and beyond the faces, but its certainly possible.

It starts from you, in fact. Its you who would need to first put off your mask and be authentic  yourself.

Its you who would need to come out of comfort and protection zone and be real and true to yourself and to others,  only then you open up the possibility of looking beyond just the smiles, angers, doubts, fears and   tears of other people.

In one of my previous posts, I wrote how many possibilities opens up when you choose to be natural and barefoot.

 

Consider:

“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird.9 J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1960.

 

Even if you knew what’s happening with someone, When you choose to compassionately ponder, think and feel what the other person might be going through, this is where the relationships, businesses and all other aspects begins to transform.

The best way to know someone is to step  in their shoes and walk a mile. Not physically but metaphorically.

When you can let your mask be revealed to those you choose to, and when you choose to scratch the mask of people you want to, This is where the actual, natural, authentic, real and spontaneous love, care and compassion arises.

 

We walk amongst unsung heroes every day, watch them, breathe the same air as they do.

Bullying, troubled childhoods, broken hearts, failed ambitions, masked wounds and lost identities.

The world as we know it is a trail but the paths are never the same.

Observe, Accept, love, understand, care and support. Be natural, unmasked, authentic and compassionate. This is all what it is, and this is all what you need to see beyond just what’s visible.

When you choose to do so, lives get transformed, enormously!

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