November 24, 2007

Allow Yourself to Get Cheated

Stop protecting yourself from family, friends or colleagues.

We spend a lot of energy in protecting ourselves from getting cheated financially or emotionally. We are normally on our guard, and our alert mind is tuned to look out for anything fishy. We feel deep discomfort in the feeling of being cheated.

Most people in your life are not going to cheat you. A few may cheat you slightly. And very rarely will someone cheat you in any significant way. If you are open to being cheated slightly, and are willing to take the risk of being cheated significantly sometime, you can save a lot of energy, be more at peace, and have much better relationships. It’s not worth being careful all the time.

2 comments:

Sharad Garg said...

While philosophically I agree with you, I was trying to understand why people (including me) are this way. And I came up with two reasons-

1) EGO. There is a notion that the person who cheated is smarter than the person who got cheated. I can not bear this thought, and I want to minimize the number of people who can make this claim.
2) Estimate of degree of cheat: Most of us our poor estimates of how big the cheat is. You mention 'allow to be cheated slightly' but how do I know when it is slightly, vs when it is not? So we try to go beyond all doubt; eliminate the cheating altogether, albeit with high amount of energy like you mention.

I also think technically, we are all doing what you are saying here. Everytime I buy something in a big showroom, I am getting cheated since I just paid substantially more than reasonable cost of that item. However, I let that happen - just to save the energy to find a better priced source for that item. In fact, if people had the capacity to never be cheated, all the retailer market would cease to exist, and everyone would buy just from the source.

Perhaps what you mean is that we be more concious of this, and yes, by doing that, be more at peace with the world.

Praveer said...

I agree with you fully on this.

Just trying to save ourselves from that one incident where some one close would do something because of which we might feel cheated (note that I didn't say some one close cheating us) cost us those very things in life that we derived pleasure from.

Remember those childhood or college friends - you didn't have to think about their intentions.

What happens as we grow up - "i won't call him, he doesn't call me so often", "every time, it's me who's taking the initiative" etc. etc.

These things suck up what we most cherish, carefree moments with loved ones. The moment you start worrying about getting cheated, you stop being carefree.

It is a choice one makes.

It is a decision which is full of disguise, because usually, such decisions come after an incident that left you feeling cheated, and therefore, you want to be "wiser". But you threw out being carefree.

Now I am not asking anyone to be more foolish than they already are [ :-) ]. All I am saying is, that in not worrying about getting cheated all the time, we allow ourselves and people around us a grace that is rare in this frantic life.

In fact, we all complain that our friend who was so cool has now "changed", little realizing that most of us are somewhere in that "change" process, trying so hard to get "wiser".

The ability to overlook trifles is but important if you want to be able to feel other people's love.

That was the design we've seen when we were kids. We could get over fights quickly. And that is going to be the design going forward.

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