I’ve had more knives stuck in me than Julius Caesar. People still stomp on your toes and stab you in the back like they did back in the 80s, but now they just do it with a smug smile on their face. Our moral compass never points due north. We lie, cheat and steal. And we are the privileged ones. Privileged enough to have a roof over our heads and a table laden with a variety of food. Yet this is not enough for us. We need more, no, we want more. Like a black hole which leads us into the abyss, we are falling. Falling into the trap of greed. We break free of our chains which keep us grounded. We all need to be anchored, or we might get pulled into the choppy waters. But we don’t care. We welcome with open arms the storm which is about to swallow us. We want this so called liberty. This unlimited freedom to do what we want, when we want and how we want.
We are the guardians of our own humanity. Yet we choose to abuse this responsibility. Willfully and at times, almost proudly. We are not perfect, yet demand perfection. We are rational beings, civilized, or so we claim. But there is a beast within us all. If not shackled, this ferocious creature may break free and charge forward, trampling all in its way. Uncaring and aggressive. And then we take a nasty turn from rational beings, into animals. No, not into animals, far worse than animals, for these four legged creatures never treat their own as we treat ours. These beasts will hunt and attack only when needed, as the laws of nature have laid down. Humans on the other hand, break free from all these laws and try to defy gravity on earth, and walk on water. We are all drawn to this beast within us, at some time or the other. Be it the school child, who has the opportunity to cheat, or the businessman, who by the click of a button, can break the bond of loyalty to the people who so trusted him. Even the spouse, who had promised to cherish and love, in good times and in bad, for better or for worse, he buckles at the knees and breaks every vow he vowed, before God, on that most sacred day.
We are all drawn towards the truth, yet are deathly scared of it. Terrified of the outcome of good. For goodness is hard to achieve, and its ugly reflection of evil, the easy one to harness. From the five year old who dreads telling his mother that he broke her antique vase, to the person who would rather lie than tell his boss that he was the one responsible for the loss. Even though we tell the little boy that speaking the truth would make mommy happy, looking sadly at the shards of broken glass, which was once a vase, the boy finds it hard to accept that mummy would indeed be pleased.
We try to sprint in quicksand and hope to see an apple tree grow, after having planted orange seedlings. Let us not call vying for the absurd, hope. Let us even hope for the impossible, but not the delusional. And no, nothing is impossible. We learnt that when in the third grade, we read the adventures of Alice in Wonderland.
“There is no use trying,” said Alice; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
So never let go of hope. It is what burgeons in one’s heart and keeps us going. We must fight till the bitter end. Something Team Pakistan must learn to do more often, when it comes to cricket. We are sentient beings, yet some of us regularly flaunt our supercilious manner. We are masters at indulging in retrospection. At the end of a cricket match, and even after attacking a country. How simple. We have no qualms in making statements that are a classic of mendacity, our conscious dead within us. And we are the superior beings, the highest in the food chain. We must reign in our disdainful attitude and break our habitual reticence when we see injustice pass us by. Nothing can compare with the feeling of doing right by someone, whatever is second best, is a distant second. So let us rise and irradiate the earth, with rays of righteousness and truth. And let us hope that these rays burst through the dark clouds that engulf us, sooner rather than later.