I do not know his life story but I have heard about some of his life challenges. I appreciate his sensibilities and the way he struggles with his perceptions about the world. Recently he even grappled with the question of quitting his religion. He grappled with it and then made a decision. Perhaps the reason for all this happening is technology, yes, I’m convinced that it was the interconnectedness of the world brought about by technology was a reason for this to have happened. At first, primitive technology taught us that it was rather nonsensical to attribute to a god with a hammer what we could to electrons being accumulated within clouds. Modern technology now allows us to see the struggle of a people in a country on the opposite side of this planet we call Earth. In the face of such realities how could one call their tribe a tribe when they know that there are others out there struggling with the same tribulations as you have for all, if not most, of your life. Those struggles are not common to your tribe, they are the common story everywhere on this planet.
X could not care more about the policies of a government in a developing nation but he has served and he knows how policy influences the future of a country. If not the future of his own, the future of the country where military is deployed. Yet, his recent realizations also tear him apart in his conscience. This constant internal conflict occupies some amount of bandwidth but there is a limit to how much X can think about these things. One cannot just get up and leave their life. They have a life, responsibilities and expectations and want to work towards those expectations. When is the anguish enough that it causes X to leave and say enough is enough? The human experience can endure very well. If there is one thing we have evolved to do it is endure. So, X does not simply get up and walk away. They do not book a flight to a far isolated land to learn about the culture and the challenges of the people. There is too much at risk. They endure this conflict because there is too much at risk to take action. “Risk”.
Y is living the life he constructed consciously. In another universe he could have gotten dragged into the machinery of churning out experts but he didn’t and he resisted. Y chose a path where he would choose his own challenges because he thought and grew up to be a critical thinker. At the same time, he also chose to immerse himself in “life”. Perhaps that is the meaning of life. Understand the intricacies yet completely losing yourself in everything that comes your way on a day to day basis. If that means getting drunk every Friday perhaps that is what it means at the cost of liberating your organs from the dreary habit and ongoings of life. For others, optimization of those very organs could mean losing yourself in life but for Y this is not a factor. He has seen his loved ones perish due to causes what he later will realize are trivial at the global scale. But he did not choose that path to optimize himself. He loses himself in life in different ways. The material comforts and the chase of pursuits, maybe not wholeheartedly, justifies his zeal for existence. He sees the challenges on the other side as well and unlike X, who would spend more time optimizing his tax returns, he chooses to learn more about the underprivileged. He is genuinely concerned about the welfare of others who exist in less fortunate circumstances. Perhaps the guilt of their privilege needs to be balanced and this is how they choose to address that need.
Yet, Y doesn’t see the whole picture either due to limitations that seem to be set by reality. Y is passionate yet compelled to see people in more fortunate circumstances as the oppressors. That could be a reality, perhaps even in most situations, but every situation? Perhaps X likes to be cynical and critical when they look at the world they start from a position of extreme cynicism. It feels like that view abstracts the reality at times. And there could be times when the person is so far removed from the situation that they don’t seem to approach reality because cynicism takes them so far away. This almost seems like a confession and a realization of sorts at the same time for me to write about. Y and I will arrive at the same situations and realizations in life, but our paths will be very different, and our experiences will be unique. I hope they see what they are missing while I hope I don’t get lost in everything I see.
On another part of the planet Z spent their life raising children in what they feel like, even now, is a challenging environment. Despite everything or perhaps because of the situations Z experienced in life they do not have any more tolerance. They had expectations and they all came crashing down because the people around were either sponges or wilted away like dried leaves in autumn. Few even had a spine but were going through times which they felt were their own challenges are could not bear the heat in the furnace that Z placed themselves in. They saw the beauty in the finer things but also saw the harsh reality behind those smirking grins. What I have learned through books they learned firsthand even if they did not want to. As a result, Z is now scarred and yet tries to see the beauty in the sparrows that sit on the window sill waiting for the rice that is sprinkled without fail every day on the days that their peace of mind allows. Sacrifices were made on credit and as a result Z is now suffering as one does when they are in debt. Of course, not just financially but emotional, physically and financially as well. The body could never undertake the effects of what they were trying to give. They were filled with love despite not having received any when they should have. Z aspired to figures that they didn’t know could exist but had read from the books and cultivated themselves and everything they encountered along the same lines.
Z cannot bend to the reality that rots at the belly of society in general. Even though they tried too hard to remove themself and rise to an understanding that was uncommon. To see the reality would mean disassociation from all their principles and values. There isn’t much to hold on to, but they are being given a hope, being shown a silver lining in the midst of all that moist rot. Perhaps there are a few years of peace and joy, but they will be based on the work of someone who sees the painful reality. Their life is so intermingled with the struggles of their progeny that their identity is now tied to their existence. They might have been unique from their perspective but after all they too are just one of many. An all-important image in their eyes but just another iteration of fallible human existence otherwise. Fallible because their perception of reality is so clouded with their personal experiences, trials and tribulations just like it was for X and Y.
Me, who has mostly lived a life of privilege and feels am self-aware and can see through the farcical curtains of reality. Isn’t that everyone’s story and isn’t everyone in the wrong about that? I have played in the lap of luxury since I can remember. The house I grew up in might have had shaky foundations, literally and physically, but I never felt them disrupt my life. I never realized the floor of the house tilted. I was protected and grew up being taught about virtues and ideals which were arguably the highest for the environment. I had examples of lives that could be disrupted, and I had examples of lives that were unenthusiastic. I absorbed it all to the best extent that I could understand. I have memories that have shaped my existence just like they must have for X, Y and Z and yet I feel that lives are being led without the interrogation they deserve.
I will arrive at a point in my life when I will realize that interrogation and curiosity is not the most important aspect of life but for now I question, what if not satisfying that curiosity is the purpose? We are but stardust coagulated on another mote of dust in the words of Sagan. We will return to that state very soon. A few nano perhaps atto-lightyears and we will be gone. Perhaps my immersion of life is the attempt to understand all we possibly can. To what end though? I look at the world and it looks so sick right now. My investigation of the world affairs has caused me to think this but what if my investigation is flawed. Should I ‘buy’ another pair of glasses? There are others around me who’s curiosity has not led them down this conclusion. Perhaps they’re happier right now? What worth is that unquestioned happiness? All this conjecture can make a thinking head spin. It could even just mean ink/pixel blots to another who has a higher/lower thinking. Ironic. Even the uncertainty here is characteristic of an uncertain mind. I am ashamed of a country that is not mine. I detest the people of a country that is mine. I dread the future of women and children in a country that I don’t know about. Tomorrow I will return to a world that will pretend to care about justice, rights, and equality.
The world is burning, and people are finding random sentences on social media to mock the leadership that is flailing in every sense of the imagination. They ask for peace yet lack the moral courage to do anything through non-violence. The sentences are anonymous and that is perhaps the true nature of human beings when they don’t have much on the line. They don’t have skin in the game and are vile like we would have been in an age long gone.