Bonsai life: it’s not about you, or is it?

By | February 17, 2017


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As the green thumb in our house will tell you that my knowledge of flower and fauna is limited to the question – does it need water? – I was surprised at myself when I got intrigued by Bonsai. This is a Japanese art form and tradition that goes back more than a thousand years. The art originated in China known as penjing and consists of growing miniature trees in a container. A Bonsai is created using a specimen from the actual source material and then planting it in a confined environment like a small container. The tree or plant retains its shape and characteristics but the growth remains stunted. Imagine the majestic Sequoia redwood on your dining table!

I have come to the conclusion that most of us live a Bonsai life. Right from our birth, the pruning and conditioning starts. The social structure, relationships, obligations and expectations serve as a nicely confined container; while education, job, social status and other things work well on pruning. Majority of us will live through our Bonsai life listening to or reading inspirational speeches but never get inspired to do something. The path our lives take is beaten down and crowded. The choices we make are as risky as drinking tap water. We go to our meetings with a water bottle lest we die of thirst. We continue to cling to routine and then complain of boredom.

Then, there are handful that break free and will make a dent in this universe. They become our role models that we will continue to admire but never follow. We continue to lust after the results but never traverse the trajectory of success.

It’s what Alejandro Jodorowsky said, “Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness”.

If this post make you uncomfortable, breathe easy. It’s not about you, it’s about everybody else 🙂

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