The two guys leapt up, laughing and shouting they hugged each other, lots of pats on the backs ensued and tears of delight. Meanwhile on the other side of the world a black woman stared into the distance, tears of desolation streaming down her face. Why? Are we talking of the birth of a child, the celebration of marriage or the mourning over the death of a loved one? No, of course what we are talking about is football. The World Cup to be precise. The two men from Uruguay ecstatic in their victory the Ghanaian woman seeped in sadness over a goal too few, immobile and apparently impassive to the world around her, to the noise, the people, to reality.
And this is the point is it not?For a moment, for a match, it feels like the whole world is suspended as we channel emotions usually left aside for times of life and death, towards something, as Akhandadhi Das recently pointed out, which is a nothing but an illusion. This is why according to the sacred text Bhagavad-Gita, these crashing waves of euphoria and pain are experienced: due to the immersion into illusion, deciding to live something which is not real. And The World Cup is a good example of this, as it does not touch our lives personally nor directly (unless you are Maradona, in which case tears may be more than applicable). We find ourselves moved by matches normally avoided like the plague (even my MOTHER is watching football, which is synonymous with David Beckam taking an interest in crochet. Ok my mother wouldn't be seen dead with a crochet needle either, but this is besides the point) played by people we have never met in a country which most of us have never been too. We are not talking about the electricity bill that cannot be paid, a promotion at work, a broken bone, a financial gain on the stock market or loss during the recession. The world cup is a dream we choose to dip into. "Choose" ( or "choice")being the operative word. Exactly as we can choose elation or anguish for a match won or lost we can choose joy or misery for all our daily ups and downs.
Albert Einstein said "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
Akhandadi Das in his recent comment suggested that ALL life is an illusion, so nothing is really worth getting so het up about. I agree with him but for us mere mortals acceptance of this fact is hard to figure, and implementing such a carefree attitude is as difficult as goal scoring in the world cup.
Therefore for your homework (or "our" homework) I suggest instead of attempting total passive accepting calm in all circumstances, that we work towards choosing emotions to events so that they (emotions) work for us rather than against us. Especially in occurrences which may seem negative, don't allow emotions to out-weigh the event itself. Remember emotions are not something you passively experience but something you CHOOSE.