By Priya Arunkumar
The blue jackal howled.
When a pack of jackals howled, the blue one could not control its natural instinct.
It had to howl. Jackals are meant to howl.
But jackals are not meant to be blue in colour, neither are they, leaders of the jungle, right? So when the blue jackal, who was living the life of the lion of the jungle, howled along with the pack, imagine what would have happened?
Ever heard of the story of the blue jackal? Or rather the jackal that fell into a tub of blue dye and turned blue and lead the jungle with its newfound hue?
I belong to an era that grew up with the colourful Panchatantra (Indian animal fables) tales for the kids, which came with a simple moral. It would be mostly not to lie, or not to be greedy or to be true to yourself type of simple morals, which the creators of the fables, or the older wiser generation, felt right to lead the younger ones with.
It was fun reading those ‘animal’ comics and learning the basic facts of life, or whatever morals those fables taught us to, in a visually creative spread.
Life was simpler then and acceptances to preset morals were easy.
The same story would have many more interpretations in today’s tech world. The morals could change to ‘make the best of situations’, opportunities don’t knock twice, the story would even go well with the famous quote of Albert Einstein… imagination is better than knowledge! Opinions and views would take sides of the jackal, patternising a different concept of morals and values altogether.
But it will still remain a story, and a so-called life lesson.
Speaking of life’s lessons, when you go through turbulent times, what comes free and in abundance is free advice and talks on credibility and expectations. People judge you; decide that they are better than what they think you are.
Many a time I sat through one of those sermons on credibility and how once it is lost, it will never be regained. Not once, many times. And not in these simple words but in a much cruder version; not just what credibility is; but also what people assume credibility is.
I used to sit, I used to listen, I used to learn.
People don’t change!
Not an earth-shattering truth, which I found out overnight, but, still, true!
And of course, many of the existing personality theories state the individual’s type is inborn and does not change. The inborn traits maybe hidden, withdrawn, suppressed; the effort taken to make up with external add-ons remain a futile attempt. It just camouflages their real image. Faking it till they make it philosophy; just like the blue jackal tale. The basics don’t change.
Scientifically it might be right to say time changes everything; but it does not change people; their true character. The inherent traits come out when the guards are off, when the pretending wears off, when they face the toughest stretch of their lives, when they don’t get what they want; they howl – even the blue jackals howl – if that is what their inbuilt nature is. No matter what colours and masks they wear.
The masks fall off in time.
Because time cannot change you, from what you are to what you show yourself as. Time can grow you, evolve you, enhance you, strengthen you… but you still remain you.
People cannot change; they should not change. Just be what they are.