When life originated, the idea was simple.
When life originated, the idea was simple.
Live, thrive, survive. Then more life came, so a much more complex idea followed — to live, to thrive and to survive by co-existing. Doesn’t sound so difficult, does it? But then came along men. We lived, we thrived, we survived. Co-existing wasn’t a problem, until some type of division among the species deemed necessary for reasons unknown. Drumroll, enter faith. Drumroll, enter casteism. And after a chain of drumrolls, the idea of life couldn’t just be defined by a few words. It was much more of an agreement, rather than a requirement.
Today, the sense of alienation that people feel among themselves is not something that has happened ‘by chance’ — it is the result of ugly practices started by the ugliest minds in the past. We vouch for unity, for equality, but vouching isn’t enough.
We see differences in opinion among us — and that’s a good thing, as long as there is no enforcement of opinion on one another. “Differences”, that too, man-made differences, is now a curtain, shadowing over all logic and reason. Every day, we see news about conflict. Between religions. Between sexes. Castes. Races. Ideologies. Opinions. I could go on, and you’d find zero natural causes. Every separation, every label, everything created by men.
Enough intro. The problem we deal with now is the result of this differences. The awareness of separation. The idolization of these false labels, which lead to false motives, which create true tragedies. Let me use two very recent, yet shocking incidents that might shed some light on what I’m trying to point out here.
“ At least 49 people were killed and 20 seriously injured in mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch Friday, in a carefully planned and unprecedented atrocity that shocked the usually peaceful nation.”
-CNN, 15th March 2019
A few weeks later,
“A series of bombs ripped through churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing at least 290 people and injuring hundreds. Several of those bombs went off inside churches, during Easter services in three cities.”
— CNN, 23rd April 2019
These are just two of the many incidents the world had to witness in the name of religion. See what happened after.
Social media was flooded with tweets, pictures and posts, each filled with words of pain, shock and anger. People vouched for justice. For protection. Others found an opportunity to elicit a really long relation between past events which showed that the tragedy was impending. That it showed the insecurity of the minority. That they needed shelter. A few good gentlemen even took their time to openly declare wars which they would never actually fight. Just like a line of dominoes, one post triggered another and them triggered others.
Now, these are just about the people who posted stuff. A big percentage of the population were just audience of whatever came down in websites. They would’ve had opinions too, most of which were not shared. Maybe because they didn’t want to. Or because they knew their opinion was too bad to be posted in public. We don’t know.
Now, this is just about the users of social media. The news channels, radio stations, print media have all had their share of opinion in this. Their audiences might have gotten a very refined, yet a different idea of what the social media users had gotten. But opinions are still generated and passed. The dominoes keep falling.
Now, this is just about these two incidents, out of many. A lot more tragedies have occurred in the past, each creating the sense in people of having to protect themselves from another religion. Or followers of another religion. Remember, religion. Something men created. Duh.
Now, this is just about religion, one of the many causes of separations among humans. Do you feel layers piling up over one another? These fragile, illogical, inexplicable layers, which are transparent yet capable of wounding. Like glass. Yeah, exactly like glass. The same glass which should be used to correct our vision, but is now used to cut veins.
I saw a status update yesterday which said “Think about a world where everyone lived in peace.” Really. Come on, think about it. Even though it is just a thought, doesn’t it feel nice? Don’t you feel the sudden sense of calmness, when you think about waking up to the morning paper which just had news about global warming and everything else you couldn’t care less about? Doesn’t it?
Simply put, this feeling of hatred, the phenomenon of receding relationships, the doubts, are all after effects of taking some things way too seriously than it actually should be. Like I said, faith, be it in anything, should be used as a guide. Not as a motive. Maybe as a checklist to live a life by, but not as a reason to perform tasks. Confusing, but that’s what life is supposed to be.
Humanity isn’t something that can be enforced, it has to come from within. The key lies in how you see things.
Oh she’s a woman — Oh that person is a of another religion — Oh he’s homosexual.
See them as humans. Humans. Born like how all other humans were born. They say, people see God in other people when they get help. Okay helpers, did you ever feel like Gods when you helped a person in need?
See. That is why whenever you offer food to a homeless man he thanks you, and never prays, or draws a cross, or does the Namaz facing you. He doesn’t see a God. He sees humanity. His faith in humanity is restored. See humans. Love them. Straight through the layers. A tiny yet significant practice, which ushers us into a different world, where we can rub shoulders with the unknown, where the other isn’t always bad. A world built upon love and trust, with gardens of thoughts we are otherwise scared to share and have.