The Modern Day Human

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On a rather gloriously sultry evening, an acquaintance wondered out loud about her indecision to settle upon a topic to expound on, suited enough to her mental convenience. Upon an ambiguous suggestion of expanding over the intricacies of love as an emotion we know, she turned up her nose in disagreement, declaring it to be a ‘cliché that not many of us any longer believe in, in its entirety’. This perception, very commonly found in most of our generation, raises a lot of unexpected but withered questions about the ambiguity and the complexity we have so gracefully granted to ideals as simple as human intuitions. More often than not, we spend most of our lives debating about the great unknown; the fear of not being where we are, the ever prolonging string of ‘what-ifs’, with a certain follow- up of regret. This questioning and regret does not qualify as a choice; it is human to strive for perfection but inhuman to achieve so. However, life remains to be a constant urge to reduce the longing for the infamous unknown. Every step we take is a decision, which unbeknownst to us, has a huge impact on what we see as present. And hence, extracting the best out of life is a struggle that we all face in making the best possible decision in the worst of times.

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Riddled with this are the emotions that we experience along the way. The existence of emotions, however absurd, is something that we cannot question or avoid in our lives. A recent trend circling around the idea of being strong enough to avoid any humanly emotions is catching up, quicker than we would like it to. Human race has transcended to immeasurable heights of pride where admitting feelings is considered to be a weakness. We all, in this race of being the strongest, most unemotional being of all, have eventually lost touch with the essence of our existence. Claiming strength in times of peril runs parallel to boxing up of emotions, something which we have concluded to be the wisest decision ever reached, without any proper explanation. Sadly, logic and rationality here get defeated and as a result, what we see around is not the mysticism of individuality or separate identity, but a horde of people reacting and emoting to a particular situation in a uniform way, much like machines, which does not come off as a surprise, considering the overtaking technology shadowing humanity at large. A plausible explanation for this phenomenon can be that the present living generation witnessed a major social and cultural change in terms of globalization and speeding growth of everything that we can possibly think of and hence, were the first ones to be plunged headlong into the matrix. Probably, along the way, as we moved forward, we kept shredding off our virtues one by one, and still continue to do so. As a result, the virtues that we earlier swore by, no longer remain in existence uniformly. Some people are more aloof than ever, more materialistic and extremely emotionless.  And just like how we cannot pinpoint one plausible reason for all of this, we cannot really predict how far it will go further. Being a mortal, in such an environment, is more difficult than ever.

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While a group of people rebelling silently against ideals of humanity continues to exist, there is also a group of people, which finds itself, at every step of the way, torn between the want of fitting in to the majorly approved ideals of existence without regarding any humanly ideal and the want of identifying what they actually stand for and will to follow. There is apprehension at every step of the way, deepening trenches of wallowing and an inherently building habit of taking everything too seriously. Probably the latter kind also finds some or all people equally disarmed by this dilemma of finding their belief, shielded by a facade of being stronger, than admitting to anything as weak or insignificant as a human sentiment. We shall never know.

All of us have brought ourselves or have been led to an extremely awkward position from where any movement forward is to be questioned intensively and going backward would mean losing everything we have achieved by virtue of evolution. Here, we identify the surprising fallacy of all that we so proudly flaunt on our individual sleeves- the dead weight of wallowing self- doubt and indecisiveness, masked by blooming prides and inflated egos. It is extremely ironical that all we attempt to hide, we showcase a very shallow version of its opposite so proudly. The longing, the regret, the constant pinch of the missing unknown are all a result of the same.

Considering all of this from the perspective of someone who bears the direct brunt of this constantly uncertain and shifting environment, it is safe to say that we have brought upon ourselves a situation, escaping from which is impossible. Bringing oneself or convincing oneself to attest to any particular answer or way or belief is an impossible task since everyone is as lost as the other. In this scenario, we anyway find ourselves trying to help the others out, offering words of irrelevant wisdom, while carefully balancing our pseudo- ideals on our noses, lest they topple over and sprinkle around our feet, much like our humanity or the purity of existence has. We anyhow, carry on forward, blissfully oblivious to the damage we have incurred on ourselves and for the upcoming generations who shall be inhabiting the Earth after us.

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Gratefulness, love, happiness, kindness, contentment and peace have only been reduced to mere words. We cite these words in common parlance to hold up a part of the same facade we maintain, equating them to some godly virtues that we can no longer achieve. And while these concepts are definitely far out of our reach immediately, we carry on our lives believing on the face of it that we really are doing a great job living up to those, while all we have managed to do is drift further away from them, as was possible. Today, gratefulness is merely a casual lashing out of the phrase ‘thank you’ when one merely picks out a fallen page of our notebook; love is saying ‘I love you’ to our parents probably once a month when forced to say so; happiness is just a word that pops into our brain when we smile across the room to a person we used to know; kindness is only standing and observing a person from a distance who took longer than usual to cross the road; contentment amounts to a productive day at work, without according any time to our families and peace is merely the idea of keeping our minds blank for 5 minutes during the day, as a break, before we resume our thought process, riddled with extremity. These words have been reduced to merely what they are- an expression. The depth which came with the presence of these words, the purity of these virtues and the rush of positivity, like a warm embrace that came with a promise to last longer than 5 seconds, is long lost. We can only wish for it to be restored.

Being stuck in the middle of this madness, one can merely wistfully long for a simpler time, a parallel universe, where the ideals still held the importance that they were worth prizing and such words of the sort brought back a rush of positivity, rather than a surge of melancholic longing, like we do today on hearing them. The generation responsible for us is as confused as we are.

At the outset, humans are at an all-time low. With every passing day, we are getting caught up in the web we so painfully weaved for ourselves and the only savior in sight is recognition of the damage we have done and rectifying the same. On a positive note, there is scope for change and improvement, considering proper introspection and the fact that it cannot go worse than it already has.

There is a lot riding on the virility and gallantry of evolution.

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Prishita Chadha

8 comments

  1. You cant measure everything on an individual basis!! Eq being low can increase the quality of decision making which in fact is useful for humans to advance as a society! The bigger picture is society!!!!

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