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Becoming Untouchable

It is common for people to be concerned with what others think and/or say about them. Understandably, people want to be regarded in the best light. But what if I were to propose that this natural desire is the source of much of the unhappiness that people feel.

In India, there is a caste system that still is prevalent today. To many westerners, this system would look archaic compared to the rights that we have. The lowest group of people within this caste system are referred to as Dalits. They are also known as the "Untouchables."

This group of untouchables have a very difficult life. They are given the worst jobs, the worst pay, not treated fairly, and suffer various types of abuse. However, I hope to (respectfully and with sincere sympathy) use it in another way.

I want to go back to the idea of people continually being aware, or sometimes obsessed, with what other people think about them. Imagine for a moment what life would be like if all that worry went away. I am sure some people are very close to having this frame of mind and others are far away from mastering this skill. Regardless, I would argue that there is likely nobody on this earth who has this completely mastered.

Now, if someone hypothetically could have this skill mastered, then I would refer to that person as being untouchable. This time it is not used negatively. This is someone who cannot be affected by anything other than what they choose to let in. This could theoretically be good or bad situations but the strength comes from not letting negative situations impact their well-being. I believe now this term should spur the feeling of someone who has achieved a great accomplishment. I believe it should be related to respect and strength. Someone who is untouchable from the thoughts and actions of others (which are obviously not in their control) is someone who can live at peace.

I believe it would be a great exercise to practice being untouchable as you go throughout your day. Practice noticing which things are under your control and which are not. Consciously let go of the thoughts and worries that do not serve you. This will be hard to do at first. You will likely only remember to do this some of the time. However, as you practice it, then the more natural and automatic it will happen.

"Who then is invincible? The one who cannot be upset by anything outside their reasoned choice." -Epictetus

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