What is ROUTINE to mankind?


Daily routine has its own charm. A sense of security that pervades all activities we do. Right from getting off the bed in the same way, same direction; visiting the bathroom for the routine ablutions; having coffee or going for a workout and getting ready for the day’s chores etc. Even the mind’s racing that seems incessant, its capacity to assimilate all that is happening around, prioritising the immediate and planning for the day’s events, is a routine.

Man is a creature of habit. He has this innate sense of mechanising things he does. Imitation, mirroring is the basis of our brain function- I am not joking here when I say that. No wonder a man, driven by this all-controlling brain, is a slave to his own habits. May be that’s why our elders quite often say that do not get into bad habits as it is difficult to break. But that is beside the point here.


He cherishes his habitual walk;his coffee the same way- dark and laced with milk and two spoonfuls of sugar; his brand of shaving cream, his soap; his comb and the like.

This habit is in some to the extent of being an obsession. They cannot tolerate anything beyond their routine and their habituated things. This sense of routine is so ingrained that they become enraged if the tune of the daily happenings change even slightly.

This is manifest even in animals who mark their territory with their urine. They do not like any intrusion in their area. It is theirs. It is little wonder then man behaves in the same fashion.


Routine sets the day’s colour and mood. It is like never changing nature around us- the rising sun, green trees, blue skies, brown earth, uneven tarmac roads, speeding bikes, unruly drivers rushing , fellas smoking near road side kiosks, school children with their heavy bags- all is routine that screams out one message loud that all is well.

After the day’s work, taking the same route, using the same transport, getting back to home sweet home is routine that brings comfort. Man needs this familiarity-like a lynchpin to guide him in this ever changing world. Change is the only unchanging part of our lives. This change however is miniscule and hence  not so obvious. It creates a delusion of stability. Definitely this paradox is  the driving factor that holds a mind sane.

At the same time just living through one’s routine leads to depression. Hence leisure and entertainment are a part of this rut.Though entertainment could be plugged in as part of this mundane, entertainment itself is varied to mark a change. Even a slight variation is enough to break the pattern like a dark brush stroke in a light coloured painting. It sets off the entire painting making worth while to admire.
A movie once in fortnight, a party once in a month, a picnic when all meet, or even an unexpected gathering of family and friends make all the difference in this routine.

Man can accept these variations temporarily and will always seek his sweet home to himself as it was prior to the variation.

May be that is the reason he cannot primarily accept loss. Loss of any kind upsets him. A mobile lost puts him off keel for few days until he has all contacts, apps , even the same mobile number in his replaced sim in the new hand set, even to having the same wall paper – all in place. He finds peace only when all his familiar things are restored. His sadness recedes albeit a time loss. The enormity of the loss  could be well equated to the mourning period generally. Say it is more in case of losing your near and dear. Nevertheless after a period when he sets his groove without that person he automatically comes out of his grief.

So as I see it, human life is constantly a juggle between the unchanging change and his perseverance in making somethings remain unchanged. Thanks to nature that in a human life span- a maximum of 70 years- he can maintain some things as it were and give him the sense of security and grounding.

This routine is undoubtedly a paradox unto itself as all things change without change in changing.


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