I can count my fears on one hand. The famous words spoken by Marie Curie that nothing in life should be feared, only understood, are wise words to live by indeed.
Most fears can be dissected into more comprehensible and tolerable segments, in the process morphing anxiety into curiosity. We fear the unknown, which to an extent is illogical as if it’s unknown, it probably isn’t affecting us anyway.
Some fears are a little more justified. Ones that turn into imminent external threats and situations of intense physical pain. I’m rather confident that no amount of ‘don’t worry, it’s all in the mind’ reassurances will calm a wounded solider looking at his detached limb on the battlefield.
This is the kind of situation I fear. Pain, I fear. It involves huge suffering and is almost completely out of our control without appropriate medical attention. Accidents happen. I can sleep at night knowing that despite our best efforts, we cannot always avoid accidents. That’s the nature of uncertainty. Thankfully, most humans share this mutual desire to avoid suffering. We have created hospitals to assist the wounded and help preserve life. Armies are trained to defend nations and its civilians against attacks. This power isn’t always used for good, but that’s for another day.
What does keep me awake at night is not a nature out to hurt me. That is of course not natures aim. A space shuttle isn’t fighting an angry planet that wants to see it crash and burn, despite the incredible efforts NASA needs puts in, fighting the laws to get into space. To look into the unknown we need to utilise and sometimes fight against the known.
As humans we have a consciousness. Old news I hear you say. This consciousness makes us aware of our actions and what these actions result in. Some people intentionally go out of their way to see the demise of others in a more intentional way. The worrying thing is, unlike nature, people know about the resulting demise of their human counterparts and desire for it for varying reasons.
As terrifying as an F5 tornado may be ripping a town to shreds, it doesn’t give me the shivers like the thought of a psychopath trying to sneak into one of its homes.
What is just as scary as evading a death that so many in this world want to see is being involuntarily born into such a world. Born into a world without a choice of gender or sexual orientation. No say on potential disabilities I may possess or characteristics that render me an outsider. Characteristics that have led to unimaginable suffering for those unfortunately and involuntary born in the wrong place at the wrong time, as the wrong person.
Blacks born into slavery and hung from trees. Women banned from showing flesh or beaten for doing so. Gays thrown from rooftops. Albino children hunted and killed purely due to superstition.
Of course animals suffer the same fate. Elephants killed for Ivory. Baby chicks shredded alive shortly after birth because they are of no use.
Can you imagine such a horrific start in life? Born into an inescapable path of misery and suffering?
To gain a certain degree of free will we have to be born, an event entirely out of our hands. The irony!
We have all entered a world with an immediate instinct to be free from suffering. When we leave this planet, we go back to the same state of non existence. A pain free state which sounds blissful in comparison. Now despite the mysteries surrounding life and death, I ask one question. What if we are to be born again? I’m not talking reincarnation, only that we once seemingly came into existence and what stops a reoccurrence? Of course you wouldn’t be you. You wouldn’t remember a past you. The only link would be a regained ability to possess consciousness. We are indeed the same universe after all.
What stops you being born again as that poor chick thrown into a shredder? Or a white male born into a world that despises your ‘cursed race’ with a traditional ritual to burn you at the stake?
It sounds incredibly dark and apologies for that. But this is to me, the reality of life until we decide to show empathy and true compassion for one another. I would rather talk on a topic such as this one if it helps to acheive this aim. And what better way to awaken the compassionate and remorseful side of bigots than to enlighten them to the possibility that they too could find themselves with a noose around their- or their children’s- neck for no other reason than an identity they did not have a choice in.