“Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence”,
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Manon, Ballerina”
IN the daily hubbub of current “crises” facing humanity, we forget about the many generations we hope are yet to come. I use the word hope because we face risks, called existential risks that threaten to wipe out humanity. These risks are not just for big disasters, but for the disasters that could end history.
Not everyone has ignored the long future though. Mystics like Nostradamus had frequently tried to calculate the end of the world. HG Wells had tried to develop a science of forecasting and famously depicted the far future of humanity in his book, The Time Machine. Other writers built other long-term futures to warn, amuse or speculate. But had these pioneers or futurologists not thought about humanity’s future, it would not have changed the outcome. There wasn’t much that human beings in their place could have done to save us from an existential crisis or even cause one.
We are in a more privileged position today. Human activity has been steadily shaping the future of our planet. And even though we are far from controlling natural disasters, we are developing technologies that may help mitigate, or at least, deal with them. Apart from all this I’m in fix of existence crises and the question of my existence haunts me oft and often.
Human nature is very inquisitive and when the unsolvable mysteries are pursued, life becomes adventurous. Human nature is also fragile, when your inquisitiveness gets cultural, religious and social impositions, life becomes peradventure or unadventurous.
The attitude towards one’s life is not one’s individual choice alone. It is determined by above mentioned factors as well. When a person is caught between the divergent pulls of head and heart, life becomes volatile and attitude towards it becomes flabbergasted.
A corollary to this is a question: how can one decide the attitude of their life, when their life is rarely theirs alone? This throws one off and inundates us in an abyss of no answers except big questions: Who I am? Where did I come from? Why have I not been asked about my tragic birth? Who created me and why? What had I done to my creator, before my creation? Finally, does creator really exists?
There are no answers. A speck of existence, on which I have some grip, doesn’t allow me to ask these questions. Otherwise I have to spurn this speck as well, to the butchers of modality.
My attitude to life is to cross the boundary line, which is set by the society. I want to live a life which would be governed by my choice. I don’t want to wear, what society prescribed. I don’t want to eat, what religion prescribed. I don’t want to perform prayers, the way that tradition and custom preached me.
However, I am also aware that my choices are always sacrificed because of God’s bequeath policy. In this semidiurnal world, people like me, are caged. Sometimes, I ask myself, “Shall I remain silent and bear the burden without murmur?” It is then that Milton comes to my rescue and says, “In this dark world and wide, and that one talent which is death to hide lodg’d with me useless’”.
It is self-abnegation to resist your feelings and thoughts. Although, when a person or people take cudgels against the social norms; tradition and custom inevitably becomes persona non grata. Amidst all this fuss, I practice tolerance, and promote of co-existence. I believe in truism and scientific endeavours. I reject all the moral theories, the rules of which are laid by someone to whom I never met or seen.
- The author can be reached at [email protected]
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.