The hopeful human condition


There are days, when, you question things, not the good things, no… you question yourself, and your doings…

If what you are doing makes any sense?

If you should continue doing what you are doing?

Are you special, or is it just a product of the times that you live in?

One of such days happened to happen, on one of the days, in this past week. I am experienced now, in these things, as I have had several of these bouts in the past, to know that these usually pass, but still, you cannot really do anything during this depression you’re living in. And so you sulk, as I was.

The subject of this post is not that; maybe, some other day I’d write about the depression, and the  state of inaction. The subject of this post, instead, is the discussion I had with my friend afterwards. I called her up as soon as I was in the cab, and continued talking to her a good thirty minutes. For those who don’t know me, that’s a lot. I don’t like talking on phones. Anyway, it started with me explaining to her my situation, but that was all that it  was supposed to be, a conversation starter; once we started talking, I asked her one of the questions I keep asking people around these days,

‘Can, and if yes, how can we have a human world at peace and satisfaction?’

I asked her this question because she is preparing for civil services, and when selected, would be responsible for shaping this country’s future. The other person I asked this question is doing a major/doctorate concerning world peace. So I guess the ‘asking everyone around’ thing was a bit of a hyperbole!

Okay, so, yes.

Consider, this to be, then an essay on “The hopeful human condition”

I talked of poverty, of the existent classes in our society, and she said, ‘we need the classes: the high, the mid, and the low. This is how things have been, and this is how things will be. The illiterate, do not care, all they care about is getting food on their plates, howsoever little that is, and survive. It’s the middle class that is pandered to, by the politicians, because, this is the class, which has food on their plates, a roof over their heads, and so, have the time, and the brains to think about things; things other than the food on their plates, and the roof on their heads. I think I forgot to mention sex. That’s kind of always there; we are all animals after all.

Somewhere there, in the middle, I crossed the line between what she said, and what I am saying, so don’t be alarmed by the missing trailing apostrophe.

And it made sense, but then, I said, ‘Can’t you imagine a world, inhabited by humans, but without the pettiness? Can’t there be fairness, and equality? I mean if we keep fighting, how are we going to leave this planet? And if we don’t leave this planet, how is humanity going to survive?’

And then she sighed, ‘Are you reading Asimov again?’

‘No!’ I said, ‘I just finished watching Cosmos!’

‘That makes sense’ she said.

‘Look’ I said, ‘I am thinking of writing a science fiction story next, and for that I am looking for the ways in which humanity can coexist peacefully, where everybody is, you know, satisfied. And if not satisfied, then they atleast have enough’

To which she said, ‘I don’t see it happening’

‘You mean humanity on it’s own is incapable of achieving the pinnacle of growth?’ I was of course thinking of Childhood’s End when I said it. It has been one of the thoughts that keep on going round, and round in my head. Without a third party intervention, we will continue killing ourselves, and the rest. Our attention spans are too small. And anyways, it can be quite scary imagining going round a star in an empty space, with nothing but gas separating your home, and the darkness. The insignificance of our individual lives can be quite daunting, and is not something that most people are equipped to handle.

Humanity, on the other hand, is not of no significance. I mean sure there have been at other times in the past, different dominant species, but none had the inquisitiveness of our species. Nobody asked why? Nobody wondered, but we do.

We are unique, in that respect. And with that, I think I will close this essay, for anything more than this, would be giving out the plot of my story.


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