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The earth rotates. That is basic science.
A couple of DNA strands get chosen at random from both the male and female gene pair to form a whole new set of chromosomes; that too is science.
Electricity runs up in metal wires and heats up the filament so that it glows hot enough to emit light; another example of science.
But one of the many things that this infamous science of ours can’t explain is basic human nature. Ironic it is, but sadly, very true.
Two people, your average human beings, fully developed, intellectually mature enough with brains capable of rational thinking, two eyes to savor the beauty this planet has bestowed upon us along with a big mouth, hurling abuses at each other, spit flying everywhere, unaware of the pain that they are causing by a few words of theirs, the mothers they are leaving children less in their quest for some out-worldly ‘justice’, the homes they have dismantled from the core to feed their purpose of revenge… screaming on top of their voices on the question of yet another thing that our now slightly disappointing science, fails to explain: Religion.
We fight. We kill. We abuse. We hate. We don’t think twice. And why should we? We all are, as a matter of fact, living in a fast world of online dating, cyber bullying, automated voice messages, virtual meetings, globalization, surrogates for actual living, breathing beings…The very thought, the very idea that the person standing across the field from us is also a human, a long lost friend, doesn’t cross our mind. We are divided and yet we talk of unity. What are countries? What are languages? Nothing.
Nothing but yet another barrier, dividing two people who look different on the outside but are still the same on the inside.
The fact that at the end of the day, we all are creatures of the same species, inhabitants of the same planet, sharers of the same inky black sky remains an aloof thought to us.
But still, our mind wants us to tread on a different path. We have conditioned our brains to differentiate. To look at other people as individuals and not fellow people. We live with the blood in our veins searing dangerously close to a 99 degree Celsius, waiting to explode any moment. Why, we talk of demons and ghosts and vicious, nocturnal creatures of the dark. But the question is, are we any different?
Are we, who often create trouble for our own entertainment and end up making someone life miserable, who turn our heads the other way when we see a filthy beggar asking for a penny or maybe some food, who always have competition and revenge running circles in our head and ignore the basic purpose of life, any better?
No we’re not.
We, the most advanced, intelligent, technologically superior species on planet earth, fail to understand humanity.
We people are clever or cunning as you might call it. This earth had been an easy place to live in. But no, we couldn’t resist the temptation to add up some more spice, a little pinch of black pepper here and a dash of salt there and VOILA! We created standards difficult to match; sub standards easy to fall in and a whole new dictionary overflowing with racial slurs and affronts to disgrace people who happen to be our very own brethren. We have published a range; a list classifying what all is beautiful and what is not. We don’t have control over our minds anymore. We are being told by a group of people, an association, a company or maybe some business, to digest a face, an appearance, a shadow, a silhouette and call it beautiful. There, our brain registers the facts and now we know that if the girl walking across the street comes anywhere close to our ‘image of beauty’, she looks good. All the others can go to hell.
For a child, new to this cruel and vast jungle of concrete, every inch of which is flagged by crime, insecurity and greed, nothing is beautiful and nothing is ugly.
It’s the way we condition our minds to work. That model that you might’ve seen in some trashy, or ‘hip’ as you might refer to it, magazine of yours, might be your definition of ‘beauty’. There, you just defined a standard.
A young boy of about seventeen, sporting spikes and a pair of jeans that barely hang on to this girdle could be what you might consider, ‘cool’.
And yet another standard is defined.
For all of the other, major sixty percent of the population who might be, in some or the other part of the world, dying of hunger or sleeping hungry just for the sake of filling the stomachs of their toddlers, unable to afford an operation for their cleft lip, let alone the denim jeans or the hair gel, will be ugly.
For THEY are the ones who have to endure a million stares of disgust, walking down the city lanes. They are the ones who have to live a life of struggle. They are the ones who are fighting off demons every day. They are the ones who work hard to earn enough to prevent their children from leading a life that they’ve led.
They are the ones that I call beautiful.
And I’m sure; I haven’t set any particular standard.
Religion, caste, creed, gender and bank balance as well, are just big, iron wrought barriers separating two people from one another. The unfairness of the situation is pretty evident for on one hand; some people have biscuits of gold flooding out of their handbags while some have to break their backs just for a four square meal. While some are living in air conditioned mansions, sleeping on cushioned beds with a comfortable quilt to keep them warm and cozy, others are lying in the middle of nowhere, on a cold footpath with selfish cars and men in suits jostling by, no one bothering to pick up a fellow human, help him, talk to him.
Ego is man’s biggest enemy. It destroys us creeps down our brains, spreads into our veins, our very soul… it torments us and tortures our being… it makes us cruel, it so much as diminishes the already thin line between good and bad.
How many of us have the heart to feed a poor one, let alone giving him shelter? How many of us would rather spend our birthday partying rather than making someone’s life worthwhile? How many hearts out there would quiver with angst at the sight of a father with a young child clinging on to his chest, sleeping on the railway platform?
Who chooses a life like that?
Why do we deserve to lead a comfortable life and them, to rot in a house barely standing on a couple of bamboo sticks for walls?
What have we done, to be born in a family where we are able to afford a living and they have to crawl their way out of misery?
Why is it them who suffer?
Imagine yourself to be the one born poor. Imagine yourself to be working day and night in a coal mine to earn a small, not to mention stale piece and bread for dinner. Imagine yourself to lead a life that millions out there are living.
Become a good person. Help someone. Save him from falling deep down into this massive blackhole that this society of ours has created. Save him from being a subject of utter ridicule and mockery; from being exposed naked to raw injustice; from being a tool for quenching someone's thirst...
The smile that would light up his face will surely illuminate your life as well. His tears of joy will have your heart swelling up too. His blessings will be with you till the very end.
Go on. Don’t hesitate.
Don’t hesitate for this is the purpose of your living.
To be human.