Why are some people rigid?

I was interacting with a client. I asked her about why she wants to take care of her family. She said “I am supposed to do that”. Again I asked her why. She said “that is what everyone does!”. Again I asked her to explain me her rationale. She said ” I am not able to understand what you are asking and what kind of answer you are expecting from me.

In the above mentioned example, my client has no rationale behind making a choice of helping parents. That is why she could not think. She was not able to understand the concept of having a rationale.

I want to take care of my parents because “as per ethics we all have to take care of parents”, “generally every child takes care of parents”, “my parents told me that I have to take care” “My relatives laugh at me if I dont take care of my parents” all these explanations are based on external sources.

Rationale is something that comes from internal sources. “I want to take care of parents because they cannot survive without me”, “I can’t see them in pain”, “I want to keep them happy because I love them”. These are the examples.

External sources are our learnings and internal sources are our own thoughts, feelings and instincts. When we take decisions or form opinions based on external sources, it leads to suppression of our own thoughts and feelings. What happens to electronic gadget if we keep it switched off for 2 years? It looses its capacity to charge/work. In the same way, when we suppress our feelings for so long, our mind looses capacity to think and feel. That is how a person who suppresses his/her thoughts and feelings becomes rigid gradually over a period of time!

Remember, this article is not about people who cannot think because of biological issues. This article is about people who can think but chose not to think.

But why would a person do that? Why would a person choose to shut his/her mind and intellect? There will be some benefits that he/she gets. In the above example, I mentioned that my client chose to take care of her parents. That is because she is afraid of leaving home, living singly, facing society and becoming financially stable. So, cost of food, luxaries and safety in her case is her intellect. She paid and got basic needs. Majority of people chose to be in problematic relations and that is the cost which they are paying to get basic needs.

Some people who are open minded find it difficult to live with people who have rigid mind. What is the reason? Its just because their priorities doesnt match. Imagine, I like vegetarian food and my partner likes non vegetarian food. What will happen? We will keep fighting daily about what to cook and what not to cook. In the same way, open minded people and rigid minded people fight because intellect is the priority of open minded people, where as, something else is the priority of rigid minded people.

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