A Spark of Life

Events that in recent past have engulfed humanity to sadness. Scenes that seem to repeat themselves from a nightmare, that we long to forget. Have we forgotten that showing kindness and empathy only makes us stronger and not weak?

Several decades ago when we were waking ourselves from a nightmare that the world war was, all eyes turned East to salvage some pride. It needed a Gandhi for the world to come to the realization that what we really needed was a war without weapons, a fight without words.

When racial discrimination and social bigotry were the norms of the day, what the new world needed was a kick in the rear. Michael King, Jr. had ‘a beautiful dream‘ and an entire nation woke up to a better place.

Rolling forward the clock by a few decades it is evident that the scheme of things has changed. But not the fundamentals though. We tend to relapse every now and then and seemingly cannot be woken up enough times.

In all likelihood the age of saints and leaders is now long gone, like those wonder years of childhood; sweet memories that persist only to be rekindled when the embers of spiritual sacrifice and human perseverance is about to die out. What we are left with at most times is a bitter sense of depravity – thanks to the lack of genuine kindness, and a remorse of failing to even try to meet the necessities of basic human needs!

I am sure that the vast majority of those reading this post are untouched by the trials and tribulations that have driven thousands of migrants from misery to a chaotic death. None of us would have had to endure the sorrow of being forcibly separated from our next of kin, or worse – lose loved one’s to the turmoil of a revolt we had no intention of partaking in in the first place! Hardly a handful would have had to go through days when we were unable to meet the daily needs of our own family.

Yet not a single day passes without the news about innocent children perishing before they could even speak their first words, let alone defend themselves. Hardly do we get to take one collective breath of relief, before a mindless and corrupt leader decides to wipe out societies in the name of glory, power and wealth. We cannot help, but feel like being thrown into a bottomless pit when a complete stranger peers from a small tent in a nondescript location asking us, with that one passing glance, “Have you seen my baby? Are you my parent?”

As with anything significant in the history of humanity, we need to be woken up from our dream filled siesta. Sometimes it takes just one single bomb to make us realize the monsters that we have become and at times it is the image of an orphan sleeping next to an outline of a lady chalked on the hard asphalt, to remind herself of being next to her mom.

Like I mentioned before, nothing has changed at the core. Across times, in all the events that battered our society, throughout the dark times that we had the misfortune of sharing together, in myths and in reality there was and there always will be the change agent. One single idea that crops up in the mind of some common man has always been the seed behind every single revolt. The right choice that an individual makes in dire straits naturally seems to exalt them to a status akin to that enjoyed by true heroes.

It would probably be one the worst ironies if mankind, with all its emotions and intelligence, fails to recognize that we are but one collective soul living the ideas and thoughts of many different men and women. It is regrettable, that it has become a routine for this soul to be sparked to life by the actions of few misguided men and women, rather than those who herd us in the right path.

Nonetheless, never forget this – you will always be destined to carry that spark. It is in when “you” decide to awake that “we” write history. A little early and there is life, a little too late then, there be none worth saving!

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Author: Rajesh Narayanan

A small speck of dust in the ever expanding ether

4 thoughts on “A Spark of Life”

  1. “It would probably be one the worst ironies if mankind, with all its emotions and intelligence, fails to recognize that we are but one collective soul living the ideas and thoughts of many different men and women.”

    Rajesh – I really loved the way you put it – I think that and that alone is what one needs to do. To realize deeply within one self that we are collectively one soul and one humanity – to discover that all of human experience is really mine and I partake of every consequence of it – in one way or the other. Like every cell of a body shares its destiny with the being as a whole. To feel the suffering of another human being is actually not just a virtue – but in a very real sense – to be alive. It surprisingly does not take a lot of intellect to come to this conclusion – but we still are here. Why?

    By corollary to your own argument – aren’t each of us carrying elements of violence, hatred, anger, attitudes of indifference and prejudices within ourselves in whatever proportion.

    In all humility I also wonder everyday about the limitation that each one of us have – what is it really that each of us can do – sustainably and substantially to make a difference at a global level.

    All of us are fighting our own daily battles – in our lives and have hardened ourselves and projecting our own reactions and insecurities on to the world, that is manifesting collectively at the global level.

    It seems a bit presumptuous of me to think of the migrant crisis in Syria and think of the failures of humanity – if I cannot change myself to a) accept live with myself and love myself to begin with – and b) to make a positive difference to the immediate environment around me.

    Our world is not what it is because we lack political leaders of good intentions or because we lack religious prophets. We have had hundreds of thousands of inspirational political and spiritual leaders – but we are what we are in spite of them. If their ideas were so powerful and had real solutions to all of humanity, I wonder why are we still here after millenia of so-called progress?

    You talk aptly of the “spark” – what is the spark? Is it a political idea?An inspired moral principle? A global covenant that all of us miraculously agree to one fine day? Or is it something that can be done only one individual at a time ?

    Very very heartful post – and a great way to get back in touch!

    1. Thank you for the comment RL. Yes too much blood has been shed and whatever counter-measures we come up with from time to time seems too little.

      Sometimes it feels like cleaning an ocean of filth with one single drop of rain dew at a time! I believe until we realize there is a sanctum within each of us this will be the case and the count of prophets and leaders will not matter.

      I don’t think there is any denying the corollary you have stated, such feelings do exist. But I would rather think of violence as a lack of compassion, hatred and anger as the unwillingness to understand. That only by willing ourselves to ‘truly’ learn from past mistakes can we eventually find the ‘spark’ within and hopefully spread it in the right way.

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