by Jitendra Mathur
Sentiments are an integral part of human life. What’s life sans sentiments? It’s the sentiments only which convert a dry and colourless life into one full of colours and flavours. A life devoid of sentiments may be useful but its utility will always remain limited only. If an individual is devoid of sentiments, neither his talent can be exploited to the full, nor can his endeavours be successful in their entirety. It is, therefore, very significant to be sentimental in life.
Often it is said that life should run through logic and brains and not through sentiments and heart. It’s right to some extent in the practical life, especially in the times of crisis because sentiments sometimes block the thought-process in difficult times. However, this is equally true that the bigger the crisis, the stronger should be the resolution and any resolution is directly linked to the heart which is further connected to sentiments. The resolution not having any sentiment to back it, may find itself broken like a fragile tree in any windstorm of life-events.
Now the question arises as to what’s meant by being sentimental. Should an individual shedding tears and having a throat blocked by their emergence every now and then be called sentimental? Should a person be considered sentimental if he gets frequently carried away by emotions and acts accordingly? In my opinion, the answer is NO because there lies a subtle difference between sentimentality and emotionality which pertains to the maturity level of the individual in question. Over-emotional person cannot handle himself properly in times of crisis. He may find it difficult to help even himself, leave aside the others. Whereas a sentimental person is one who knows how to strike a balance between sentiment and duty, who keeps his sentiments intact in his heart but without allowing them to interfere with the performance of his duties.
Renowned Hindi author – Sudarshan had written a classic story decades back, titled as ‘Shreya Aur Preya’ underscoring the fact that it’s the most important ability of an individual to differentiate between Shreya (the correct thing to do) and Preya (the thing which is dear to heart) and to choose Shreya when the moment of choice arrives. And the true sentimental person is one who can correctly differentiate between these two, giving priority to Shreya in his life.
Human sentiments are of various types but when we refer to a person being sentimental, we mean positive and desirable sentiments only which contribute to making life more meaningful and more valuable for the world.
An individual can rise above petty self-interests and think about others, appreciating their beauty and empathizing with their grief if and only if he is sentimental. Such a person only can turn his life into a publicly useful one because his sentimentality stops him from being self-centred and selfish. A sentimental person only can be kind towards humans and other living creatures and benevolent towards the aggrieved and the needy.
I have one more personal thought in this perspective that a person should be sentimental towards others but should never desire anything in return for his sentiments. When the desire to get return / reciprocation starts dominating other sentiments, then the kindness and internal beauty of the individual concerned start depreciating without his knowledge. Hence a sentimental person should give the sentiment of giving the apex position in his heart but without a desire to get something in return. It’s pretty difficult, no doubt but this selflessness only converts an ordinary being into an extra-ordinary one and propels him on the path to greatness. Nevertheless, if at all he wants something, then he should only want that at least a part of his kindness gets transferred to those who come in his contact and get influenced by his sentimentality.
Since sentiments are a tender aspect of personality, hence it is desirable not to hurt anybody’s sentiments in any manner. By hurting a person’s sentiments, we strike at the positive aspect of his personality which ultimately brings about negative results at individual and social levels. On the contrary, by respecting someone’s sentiments and reciprocating positively to his sentimentality, we can exasperate the bright aspect of his personality. Sympathy and love are such positive sentiments which may convert even the devil into god.
Summing up, sentimentality is that aspect of human personality which makes it succulent and which does not allow it to become selfish and heartless. Sentiments are God-given gift to mankind and it is the individual’s own function to keep them intact and develop further. His family and social environment also play a significant role in that. This is to be understood by the society also that a sentimental person only can be socially useful. Let’s understand the value of sentiments, be sentimental ourselves and make our positive contribution in turning others too into sentimental beings. The end