If you’re sentimental then you know that you have a beautiful soul; a soul that knows the virtue of being able to shed a tear or two when you see another living being in distress. We are often introduced to our emotional side while leafing the pages of a family photo album. We are reminded of its existence inside of us when we hear of an arrival or departure of a loved one. There are many more circumstances when your sentiments overpower your other feelings. I admire a person who can put their sentiments in a beautiful string of words. However, the problem arises when one finds it difficult to face the world without feeling overwhelmed with sentiments. If I shed a tear here and there for one distressed person or the other, I would feel in control of my feelings. Lately, I have noticed that I have a problem with controlling the overflow of my sentiments. I am not writing this post to establish a deity, who cries for everyone; rather, I am writing this post in a hope of gaining a perspective or, possibly, an idea to control my sentiments. I came across a quote on Goodreads that fits perfectly with my situation:
“I drive around the streets
an inch away from weeping,
ashamed of my sentimentality and
― Charles Bukowski, Love is a Dog from Hell
You know, at a certain point in my life, I stopped watching news thinking that the less I know of the misery of the world, the more are my chances of being happier. You see, I chose ignorance over the truth. This ignorance eliminated my prospect of appearing in several examinations; nevertheless, that’s fine by me. I vividly remember an incidence during my college days when I watched a movie — I can’t remember the name, though — and this movie depressed me for over a week. I refused to take calls from my parents and buried myself in my own world. The extreme humiliation that the negative characters of the movie made the leading lady go through — in front of her parents and siblings — was enough to break my heart. I knew that it’s only a plot, yet I could not stop myself from obsessing over the darkness of the plot. Over time, either my weak memory or my mom’s scoldings helped me in getting over the whole thing. When I am out on the street and I see many people lying on pedestrian walks with hardly any clothes on them, I cannot stop from praying to God to help the poor. The sight of an accident, a rotting dead body of an animal in the middle of the street, and silent cry for help of the downtrodden tear my heart into a million pieces. I have started burying my face in the kindle books now; however, the requirement to be attentive on road forces me to look around every once in a while; the sight is almost never pleasant.
Now, there is another side to the story, which adds to the existing problem of this emotional fool. The quote of Naguib Mahfouz is enough to summarize my dilemma:
“It’s a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a skeptical mind.”
On reading it, I thought to myself, “Did he know me?” I am that tragic person, who has an over-sentimental heart and a skeptical mind. Well, I may be sentimental, but I do not wish to be added to the category of a fool. I would love to help the needy, but I refuse to walk into a trap and be mocked by that person, later. I wonder if the real saints, like Mother Teresa, ever felt this way. I read once that Mother Teresa provided shelter to a prostitute, who ended up stealing from her. Irrespective of the knowledge of her crime, she handled the situation gracefully without playing the blame game. She saved the prostitute from her sins. I choose to believe that she must have felt very bad about stealing from Mother Teresa; however, I don’t know the after story of this incident. So, of course, Mother Teresa and saints like her were never scared of becoming a mocking stock or being fooled by others. They just wanted to help and that’s what they did. I, on the other hand, am cursed for life to struggle with being an over-sentimental creature, who does not wish to let her guard down.
P.S. This post is dedicated to the Daily Post’s prompt for the day – Sentimental.