We live in a noisy world and are never left alone.
Every morning I wake to the sound of utensils clanging, people quarreling, cars honking and every basic element of noise that constitutes a metro city working like a particularly annoying alarm clock that derives some secret inanimate pleasure in disrupting my true love- sleep. Pretty sadistic eh? I mean for an alarm clock that you don’t even set!
Then there is the ‘smart’ phone, suspiciously smarter than it’s owner, it’s become some sort of a lifeline for people to escape self introspection and insecurities which, is really sad, because the best times I’ve spent or the memories that really stay are not the ones directly involving your smartphone but rather, ones I have had while conversing with people and with myself.
In the chaos that is the 21st century we all are plunged headlong into a fierce race for survival and ‘peace’,ah, my favourite part, the elusive term ‘peace’ that has been used and abused but never really, really felt.
So today I took the leisure of asking my peers a seemingly simple question and one thing led to another.
‘What is your ambition?’ and oh didn’t they have a lot to say! A high paying job, status, living in excessive comfort and a ‘happy’ life was what I could hear in all that they had to say.
and then I asked
‘What is happiness?’ and they were ready, describing how wonderful it would be if they had a fulfilling life and that would only be possible if all of their desired ambitions were reached and so on and so forth.
‘So what is the point of it all?’ A philosopher friend was bold enough to state ‘Oh it is all for everlasting peace’
and that gave me an idea, so what IS peace? an absence of war? a state of numbness? detachment? love?
and all of them were suddenly nodding their heads, furrowing their brows and discussing in all seriousness ‘how one can find peace’.
Today I was an observer, and I realized that what we lacked was peace, by peace I do not mean a state devoid of symbolic or literal warfare, nor a state of numbness or detachment, for me the terms of ‘detachment’ and ‘numbness’ seem but a bit harsh. What we lack is reconciliation, acceptance and courage to be who we really are.
Carl Jung said “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely”
The hypocrisy runs so high everywhere I go that people are always vigilant, concealed behind a facade of false bravery and deceit, afraid that someone might just come along and break those walls down and see them for who they really are, insecure, lonely and needy.
I will be lying if I say I’m at peace, because I’m not, the age that I’m in, at 17, there are certain degrees of insecurities that I have to deal with and dealing with them I am. I’ve accepted the fact that I cannot be someone else’s definition of perfect when what matters is that it is my life and I, and only I am burdened with making it a fulfilling journey, not a destination to be reached.
I read a wonderful saying “Those who live fully are ready to die any moment”, so is that what I’ve become? living fully everyday, enjoying whatever work I have at hand and hoping for another day but ready to give it up all at once? I’d certainly like to think, yes I am. but I’ll be honest, no, I’m not, not living fully, not enjoying everything that I have at hand and definitely not ready to give it up all at once. But yes, I would definitely like to get there someday. Maybe as soon as possible.
However there is something I am self assured of, that is, a new level of peace, and that does not come from any kind of enlightenment, but from the mere fact that I’ve learned to truly accept myself with my many differences and have reconciled with the reality that I can never be anything but myself. That is my reality. This kind of a peace brings a new level happiness, and you no longer are self conscious or anxious about how you might be doing things the ‘wrong way’, you listen to your conscience and be who you are, it is that simple a peace for me. Ah this reminds me of a quote from Hamlet on which I was supposed to write an essay but never got around to finishing it.(sheepish grin)
“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man”
– Polonius to Laertes, Hamlet Act 1, Scene III.
The new kind of peace brings in Silence, a full silence that is so tangible that you can breathe it in and bask in it’s warm glow. Silence is not merely the absence of noise but combining the inner peace that one may develop. Silence is that state of mind when you are one with your conscience, accepting yourself for what you truly are and learning not to keep regrets.
Insecurities and chaos will always be there, in the vicinity, waiting to rupture that bubble of peace and silence you surround yourself with, but then isn’t that the way of life? isn’t chaos the reason we can appreciate silence? therefore we must learn to accept both black and white, and that is only possible if one is grey, truly balanced.
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”