Are you looking at the right place?
A child was playing by the pond when his attention was drawn towards the fish in the water. He was curious and wanted to know more about something new that he had just seen. He dipped his hand into the pond to catch the fish. And as he did that, he realized that the fish slipped away.
On noticing that, he got even more excited and now it became a game for him. He continued the efforts to get the fish out of the water and finally was successful in doing so.
He wanted to know more about the fish; how it was breathing, how it ate, how it survived; or swam. He wanted to know about the environment it lived in and what made it happy, he wanted to know all about this new creature and more. But we all know what happens to the fish once it is out. It dies. And since the fish has already died, he could not get anything more out of the fish. His questions about the fish remained unanswered.
If the child wanted any of the answers, he could have them only by allowing the fish to be in water. The child may love the fish, want to know the fish, spend time with the fish but once the fish is out of the water, it is dead. Nothing remains the same.
The same is true for us. Our circumstances and situations are changing so rapidly that we are continuously moving from one state to another. Nothing is consistent, rather it is moving more rapidly than ever before. It would be worth noting that when the external reactions, circumstances and situations change, there is a remarkable difference in our behaviours too. . A slightest change can bring about a huge shift. And then, nothing remains as it was before.
The point here is: You have to study the fish in the water.
I could be sitting in an air-conditioned room, writing an article while I am served tea and coffee in a glass mug, and another individual may sit under the streetlights at night after his working hours, to write an article which is his other source of income to make ends meet. It may not matter to me if people gave me assignments but for the other it is a necessity. They exhibit different behaviours for the same assignment.
So, what to do if the fish has to be studied? You don’t take it out of the water. You go in the water, in its environment and then study it. This is what we need to remember. This is universal and applicable to everything. It is true for people around us and the relationships too. To learn more, meet people in their environment. Be in their surroundings to understand and find answers to your set of curiosities.
It is the circumstances and the situation one is in, that contributes to the making of an individual and his or her behaviour. How does one speak? Who was the influential component in that person’s life? What kind of environment did he live in? What beliefs did he grow up with? Did he have enough to eat? Where did he live? All these aspects impact the various stages in a person’s life and once the situation changes, so does the environment, altering everything else with it.
To understand where they are coming from, it is important to know the environment in which they act or react the way they do. It is amazing to observe that the same individual would act differently with the slightest change in the environment. So, scuba into the water of relationships you wish to explore more and then learn what you want to about that particular relationship.
"If you're not stubborn, you'll give up on experiments too soon. And if you're not flexible, you'll pound your head against the wall and you won't see a different solution to a problem you're trying to solve."
- Jeff Bezos