Those of you, who have had some contact with psychology as a subject or with movies regarding split personalities, would have a little idea what I am going to mention today, or so we think. What I am going to mention today, though, is not the medical condition of split personality but the situation we live through each day of our lives.
How we all behave today, was few years back known as hypocrisy, to use one of the common words for the behaviour. But today, because everyone is doing it, it has become a norm instead of what it is actually, a lot of pretence. Now many of you must be thinking why I am making such a huge issue of people behaving differently with different people. The reason I am “making” it such an issue is, because I believe it is indeed an issue. But, we tend to be happy taking it as a norm because otherwise the first person we would have to scrutinize is ourselves.
“Do in Rome as Romans do” is the modern day replacement of “be yourself wherever you are”. We behave with people as they are, to avoid differences and to make interactions convenient. Funny, if you ask me, because that is exactly what the other person is doing. So then who is being like whom, and where is the real personality of either of you? This whole system of convenience has, somewhere in it, a “Part” of our personality. So then, we have split our personality into parts suiting this convenience with various people. That’s why I say that today almost everyone has a split personality. I say almost, because rarely we do come across someone who is orthodox in this regard, who is just themselves, no strings attached. But when you or I come across such a person, instead of applauding that person we say that the person is abnormal and does not know how to act in different company. The emphasis I wish to lay on the word ‘act’; that is exactly what we all are up to. And we call it being natural.
A few of my friends I brought this topic up with told me that these days everyone is a sum total of the many masks they wear and act. And in all this, our actual personality is lost or split. One of my friends then pointed out to me that, “personality is after all nothing more than a mix of traits and qualities acquired from people around us”, so how does it matter if we act. I agree to her definition but she forgot to mention one word, ‘unique’. A person’s true personality is unique to him or her. But in the race of becoming the most convenient actor, we lose this uniqueness.
Today, to be ourselves, is to be rebellious. A child, say less than 3 years of age, is said to be rebellious because he has still to learn to “behave” in different company. A small child, when in the mood, would throw tantrums whether it was his mother or Barack Obama seated in front of him. That’s why I wish to be childlike, and hope the same for others.
Think about it when you have time from acting.