Living Vicariously

There is a trend that has been going on for some times. People throw words like namaste, meditations, mindfulness. One hears things like living intentionally, focus in the moment. These terms have emerged on the lexicon of hipster. I believe now the time is ripe for the actual practice to take hold of society. We have entered a period of uncertainty, and social anxiety has risen as a result of the Corona Virus pandemic. Some of us are tuning our mind to survive, while others are panicking. However, it is not the point of this post. This post is a diatribe about living.

There is a cottage industry about mindfulness (meditation). This cottage industry sells books, videos, and apps. I have purchased books about meditations. I have downloaded mindfulness apps on my mobile devices. I have not used any of these religiously, but I am digressing. My diatribe about living is trained towards living vicariously. We are all susceptible to live vicariously through people. I know I have lived vicariously through my siblings and my peers. However, I do not know whether I have caused harms or not to the people whom I have lived vicariously through. I believe living vicariously through people can cause harms to relations, people, family units. I have no scientific evidence proving me right, but I have anecdotes from observing people.

I am a tennis fan. I grew up observing John McEnroe and Andre Agassi. They are legend in the sport of tennis, but they could have achieved if they had a joy for the sport of tennis. John McEnroe was notorious for lashing out at umpires and opponents alike. He did not seem to enjoy a game he had been playing since his childhood. I discovered McEnroe’s father placed years later. McEnroe was not playing for himself, but instead he was playing for his father. I could be wrong though. Andre Agassi is the son of Mike Agassi. Mike Agassi represented Iran as a boxer in the Olympics of 1948 and 1952. The senior Agassi failed to win a medal in both Olympics. He used his three older children as guinea pigs in shaping Andre as a world class tennis player. Andre Agassi reached a legendary status, but hated the game that made him rich and famous. He did not dedicate himself to tennis, like Michael Jordan dedicated himself to Basketball. He was a more of a playboy than a dedicated athlete. Tennis was definitely a job for Andre Agassi, because he did not fall in love with the game. Andre Agassi was fulfilling his father’s dream. Had Andre Agassi fallen in love with tennis; who knows what he would have accomplished. I have also done my share of vicarious living through my siblings and my peers. A couple years ago, my brother had a child with his then girlfriend. I embraced the child as if the child was mine. I do not know how much harm I did, but my actions placed a spotlight on my brother. My brother did not like the spotlight on him, and he let me know about it. I am bachelor, and like most bachelor I have no children; but I have friends who are not bachelors. These friends have children, and I see their children as my children. However, they are not my children.

The best way to avoid living vicariously through someone is to make one’s aspiration a reality. One should focus on one’s aspiration, and ignore one’s aspiration for another. It is my thought for this post.

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