I have heard the word ‘quirky’ a lot lately. My wife likes those home ‘fixer-upper’ and ‘Moving to the Country’ shows on TV and I often overhear people saying, “We are a quirky couple,” or “I am a quirky person and I’m looking for a house that reflects that.” It made me think, why do people want to be seen as quirky? What’s the attraction?
Nothing wrong with that as far as I’m concerned, and as far as Vaishnava philosophy is concerned (see post about what is a Vaishnava).
People in today’s world are struggling to find some individuality in a society where everything can look the same. We are swamped in mediocrity and people struggle to be individuals. I think that is why people call themselves ‘quirky.’ What they are saying is “I’m an individual, I’m not like everyone else, I have my own personality, I just want everyone to know that!”
In Lord Chaitanya’s teachings in Vedic literature, there is full acceptance and appreciation of individuality — that each of us is an eternal individual, each of us is distinct, each of us has a personal, individual and private relationship with the Supreme Lord. Along with that, each of us has the freedom to serve or not serve Him. This is Vaishnava philosophy.
We can change our personal environment to reflect our individuality, but better still is to break out and think like an individual. Question “Who am I? What am I doing here? What is my purpose in life? What will make me truly happy, truly satisfied?”
These are questions that we should be asking if we acknowledge that we are individuals. Otherwise we will not think too deeply and we’ll just accept whatever messages are presented to us – for example the idea that the latest iPhone, car, or soft drink flavor is going to make us happy.
Of course, they never will!
Namaste and many thanks for reading, Chaitanya das