It’s not easy being humble. It takes character to swallow our pride. We’re all too caught up with holding our valuable beliefs and comforts in a safe, sensitive place religiously and it pricks us when someone else digs in uninvited. When I say uninvited, I’m talking about how we ask others around us to opine and discuss, but we don’t really listen. I’m talking about how we think our opinions are supreme. Or am I just talking about myself?
What makes intelligent life so special is that we have the capability to think. We think and think and think and that process never stops until we breathe our last. Our thoughts give us comfort. It feels like home. Familiar sounds, smells, feelings, sights – these are all holy. When I tell someone what I believe in or what my opinion on God is, I have a tendency to assume that what completes me must complete the other person as well. Our beliefs become so important that we restrict ourselves to our pleasant little bubble. Anything outside the bubble is wrong or not quite right. And it’s funny how we have our own degrees of wrong and right – satanic, immoral, illegal, illegal but acceptable, acceptable, right, highly virtuous, saintly.
I had initially planned on writing a commentary on what I personally think of atheists and theists. I had in fact, written a rather large introduction where I sounded a lot like this:
So I showed my – what I thought was – fancy blog entry to my best friend, hoping to get the usual, “Wow! That’s really honest writing, you know. I like that :)” or “Perfect :)”. But boy, by the time she was done, I looked pretty much like this:
And I’ll be frank, for the first half an hour or so, I didn’t feel great. I felt terrible in fact. I felt defensive. It felt terrible realizing that my opinion is not the best opinion. Here’s a gist of what I was told: “I think all these rituals we have, beliefs, they’re less about pouring milk and putting flowers. It’s this interconnected web of emotions, memories which are so close to people’s hearts, and you never know what experiences a person may have had, you don’t know how he/she lived, so we mustn’t really take things as face value like that.” Now that I think of it, I’m ashamed that I got so defensive and slightly angry inside when my pride was crushed by something so simple and benign.
While I still feel that some of the problems of the world – for example: evolution vs. creationism debates, homosexuality, capital punishment, so on and so forth – shouldn’t be problems in the first place, I realize that we all have a reason behind who we are and how we think. All of us have differing, even conflicting conceptions of Utopia which in itself will forever be a paradox. All this being said, now that I think of it, it’s not only a miracle that life exists, it’s also a miracle that life still sustains itself despite the sheer number of conflicts among and between the animal and plant kingdom. We don’t know what the future holds for us. We barely know what the past held for us. Our blue planet will forever be teeming with possibilities and impossibilities, probabilities and improbabilities. To be reminded that this chaos is hardly chaos as far as the vastness of space and time is concerned is uplifting (for me, at least). But then I tend to get caught up in a mess of words, actions and everything else I take in using my 5 senses. I hate that I have to be reminded to be kind, compassionate and unprejudiced regularly but hey, at least I’m being reminded right?
Here ends what was supposed to be a rant against atheists and theists and all the million other categories and subcategories. Because, there are no categories, it’s just 7 billion people of the world desperately trying to look out for each other. Buried under all the hate and debate is – what I believe is – a need for us to be together.
I will leave you with a short video that doesn’t fail to inspire me every single time I watch it. You may have watched it a hundred times just like I have. Watch it anyway 🙂
PS: Sorry to have disappointed you with the title. Here you go. Good day to you!