SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Sunday, May 24, 2009

All the world's a stage...

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,

These words run through my mind like canned laughter. Intercepting my thoughts to laugh mockingly at the way I deliver my dialogs, at the manner by which I choose to act my part, at the importance I give to my fellow cast and crew (I mean family and friends!), and the kind of interaction I have with them.

The roles we play: do we choose them or do they choose us?

I found Shakespeare… to ponder over the many roles that we as people play at many different times in our lives. We even find ourselves playing multiple parts at the same time. (It reminds me of a play I once saw, called My Dear Exorcist, which has the leading characters changing their dresses every 2 minutes, some amazing role play!! Real life it seems only mimics that!)

How apt to call this world a stage. Many of us like to take the center stage, others prefer being a part of the supporting cast. Still many others want to remain in the audience, applauding or jeering but refusing to join the fray ( by the way, these are the philosophers!!).

Sometimes this is further complicated, when we wish to be center stage but find ourselves thrust into a supporting role. Do we accept and wear the grease paint and play the role with a smile, or do we fight and resist, protest and plead that we should have the lead?

Yet, eventually we learn to accept and accede the part assigned to us. We play the role and partake in its pleasures and pain. (Leading role or supporting cast, are we not both at the same time…sometimes neither in the larger picture?!)

Another angle to this, are those, who may have an insignificant part in the drama of life but give such a compelling performance that their presence becomes significant and center stage. They are the character artistes, who leave an indelible mark in our minds, who change the way we perceive, who impact us with their powerful performance.

In the microcosmic arena of our life, within that radius of our viewer ship, these roles and the people who play them are those whom we try and emulate consciously, often unconsciously. They are our role models.

The stage we enter and exit: do we have a choice?

The role we play at any stage (and every) in life is determined by the stage on which we ascend that role. We don’t choose the family we are born into, we don’t choose our parents, we don’t choose our siblings, we don’t choose our blood ties, (yet again exceptions exist, when we choose to adopt).

Some of us are fortunate, while others are not fortunate enough to make an entry at a suitable time; circumstances and environment compel us to choose a life and manner of living that may be beyond our control. The Srilankans in Jaffna, or the Africans in Ethiopia, can only hope to survive the maelstrom, which is their life. Direction and production is not within their scope.

The stage culture may be different, the geographies may be varied, and its values and morality may orient the character. Yet the same scenes do get enacted by others, in many and different places, most probably in a similar fashion, and with similar intent. (Making me ruminate over the commonality we share with fellow performers.)

The ups and downs of what we experience as life, is the ever changing scenario that passes around us and that we are a part of. We can only ad lib our way through, as the dialogs we deliver are written nowhere else. But, we hold a copy write for the words we use!!

The script writer is within us, and without! Very simply, the script is written by our wants, needs and expectations, at different stages in time. So in that, almost all of us are similar. The difference may lie only in what we want, need and expect at that particular time, and the extent to which, this is congruent to the outside world/people.

The final production: is it of our making?

The entry we make is not in our hands nor is the exit. The only choice we have is to make the interim within our direction. Even in that we have our own limitations. We don’t work with a preplanned script, and scripting our own story is the greatest challenge.

Looking back at the final production, we realize that this entire drama is a complex, multi staged, multi role, mega-production and directional endeavor, in the sitcom genre! It has all the ingredients, pathos, prejudice, jealousy, anger, ambition, love, humor and much more more!

Whichever ingredient takes precedence, all that the artiste wants is to see success. To gather applause and to hear accolades, that's the wish of every person. Critics will abound but accomplishments will speak for itself, and the stage player is content and happy to gather both bouquet and brickbat at the end of the play!

Ultimately, to make one's life a super hit show, is the dream!

I leave you with these thoughts and go on... to enact my role in the stage of life...

...and as they say in show biz;
"The show must go on"..so act on..