The two years I studied my MBA, ‘Globalization’ was a buzzword. Everyone ranted on about how the protectionist policies that countries set up to protect its domestic industries from superior MNCs were now changing, and the so called ‘Walls’ were being demolished. I also read a wonderful book by Thomas Friedman on globalization in which he explained in great detail why the bringing down of walls, Berlin or otherwise, was an inevitable, if not the best thing to happen.
I started believing then, that walls are not the best thing to build. This is quite debatable I know, but somehow there is this impression that walls are built by people who are inward looking, who don’t want the various invasions that the outside world brings with it. The wall of Sparta, the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall stand testimony to this. I started believing that the more open you are, the more you are with the times. Of course all this was from a very practical and worldly point of view, so I found many examples to support this theory.
What about the walls people build around themselves then? I got an sms once that read, ‘ Sometimes you don’t build walls around you to protect yourself but to see who breaks them down.’ Profound, isn’t it? Is that why we build walls? I don’t know. I know people who appear jovial but are so intense inside they’d scare people away if they were to share that intensity with them. All the time these people are looking for just a single person who has audacity to climb those walls or breach them. But why do they build such impregnable walls in the first place, you might ask. Maybe there were incidents in their past that took them to the brink of losing faith in others, or maybe even in themselves. Those were times when they all battled their personal hells and laboriously clawed their way back to normalcy. Every single time this happened, they put on a layer on that wall, made it just a bit taller. Once bitten, twice shy, isn’t it?
For me, these walls are a self defense mechanism, a way of self preservation. It’s always preached that a person should be expressive, that you should share your demons with others so that they can at least offer you a weapon to fight them, if not take up your fights. People believe that walls will do nothing but stifle you, make you a prisoner of your own intensity. I believe what my professor said once, ‘You have your own weapons, you fight your own wars.’ I believe that sooner or later, everyone will have to fight their demons…ALONE. I believe that there will be a day when no matter how many support systems you have, you will have to cry alone. I believe that the same walls that people call a prison, can be the most sacred sanctum, should YOU choose to believe so.
I believe that no matter how many doors or windows you have, it is your walls that define your home.