September 29, 2013
The cycle of life fascinates me. It is as if life passes by after a short catch of breath. It is ephemeral, mysterious and thought-provoking. Soon, most people my age will be employed, get married, build a home, grow old and die. Then, there comes this thought: “I have a fear of growing up.” That poses a threat that I do not ever want to experience. It is inevitable to see through various media the stereotypical adults who run institutions: the big bellied adults who play on power, money and sex. I often look around and wonder how the children, teenagers and young adults like me would ever grow up and grow old.
One by one, the faces of the people from my memory flash in my mind. I see the kids I played hide-and-seek with, the classmates of my school days, my current co-workers and all my family and relatives. It seems easy to pin who each of them will become in the future. However, we do not have the power to tell. After twenty years or so, I may be able to identify people whom I know from the past who have become corrupt government officials, insensitive cheating spouses, inattentive workaholic parents, greedy corporate people, murderous criminals and harsh sex offenders. Upon observing the portrayal of adults in today’s media, I often question the process of growing up. What has happened wrong?
It is brought about by the need to please the self. With the fast influx of information from today’s accessible facilities, we are fed with many messages. The result is that all of us seek to be secure in all aspects, and some people want to use that vulnerability for their own security. Isn’t it ironic how more powerful and knowledgeable people use other people’s insecurities in order to address their own insecurities? Think about slavery, wars, and other dreadful societal issues. There is unjust manipulation and destruction.
There is this notion that we must go back to nature to learn how to navigate our lives. We are always on the go to improve our living conditions, often neglecting the responsibility to maintain the order of nature. There is only an extreme regard of the self. People often forget the natural aspect of life. They forget how it is too short to worry about maintaining a certain level of standing. It is important for us to be more open-minded and aware of our surroundings. Lack of curiosity makes you useless as a human gifted with reasoning skill. Going back to nature makes us reconnect with the life force that is not artificial. It is the original energy that we need to gear on ourselves.
Others may argue that it is in our animalistic nature to kill and be killed. I find it baffling how we are gifted with a more advanced form of thinking, yet we still liken our ways to common animals. The ecosystem is designed or evolved in such a way that there is balance. Some are killed and some are born. We are disrupting the cycle and the natural harmony. We need to reconnect to our roots, the common ground that unifies us. There are many who are in need of our efforts. Instead of continuously hurting others, it is time to address our issues. When we are selfless, we help the vulnerable. In turn, they will learn to help themselves and others. An educated child can be inspired to educate others. A more organic way of raising crops cannot bring death to insects responsible for preserving the cycle of plant life. A more humane approach in production of goods will not harm our health and relationships. It all comes down to giving back once you have power. There will become a movement of change and everything will be more systematic and secure.
Life is surely mysterious and complex. It is evident as you observe people while growing up. Some people have the tendency to give in to pleasure of the self. They continue to harvest and acquire things without realizing the harmful effects they cause. Some people, on the other hand, choose to find a deeper purpose. It is through connection that lets them become the best versions of themselves. They find prosperity in giving back. They feel secure in reaching and helping the vulnerable and weak. As human beings with logic and sympathy, we are responsible on how we live. We are in control of our actions and it is up to us how we grow up.
*Special thanks to TalkShop for challenging me to write this essay.