When I was a kid, I used to have this feeling sometimes. A profound feeling of loss stemmed from existing. As crazy and frankly hilarious as this sounds, I felt that I lost the chance to be at utter peace. I felt that if I weren’t ‘here’, I’d be somewhere better, wherever ‘better’ was.
Now that I’ve grown older and more mature than I was before, I’ve realized that existence isn’t exactly what those thoughts were born from. They were born from the unfairness that blankets the world, not just the “human world”, but the world altogether. Life, in and of itself, seems pretty unfair if we take even a single moment to think about it. If we really take the time, it’d be enough to cause the kind of despair in our hearts that makes everything seem bleak and insignificant, especially as a child who just learned how to color within the lines.
But that first time where I felt like being ‘born’, and having responsibilities, was the ultimate act of unfairness (whatever greater force out there was thrust upon me), and I think it was the first time I truly, truly felt what feeling conflicted encompassed. Because on the flip side of the childish hopelessness that grew out of nowhere in my heart then, was the gratitude at having been born as my parents’ daughter, having met them and my older brother, my mother’s little sister- the good people in my life. I may not have realized it then, but I certainly do now. And really, that was the first of the conflicts that I’ve gotten to experience in my admittedly, short, lifetime.
And now that I’ve hit my twenties, I have unfortunately witnessed one too many conflicts which, really, shouldn’t have existed in the first place.
You see, people have a funny way of working. We’re divided in a way that, at the end of the day, will bring nothing but pain or sorrow, mostly both. There have been divisions in literally every category that man has come up with to place themselves under. Gender, religion, culture, nationality, sexuality and sexual orientation, economic classes, body shapes and sizes, skin color, hair color, eye color, level of stylishness and grasp of fashion sense, cat lovers and dog lovers, pineapple-on-pizza lovers and haters, vegans and pure omnivores, environmental activists and ‘I honestly couldn’t care less aka global warming is a fluke and/or it was there before we even existed-sayers’, and so on and so forth. Really though, what is out there in this vast universe of theorems, and principles, and facts, and ideologies, and just plain, simple human mentalities and personalities that everyone on this planet can agree on? Probably just the statement, “there’s nothing out there that everyone on this planet can agree on”.
Now if there’s more divisions among mankind than a man has bones, conflict is inevitable. And it can be clearly recognized, since the past and the present have worked together to solidly prove it, leaving no doubts at all, whatsoever. And for me, that was around eleven years old, when the “blood is thicker than water- but definitely not when money comes into play” element became an episode of my life; these divisions and all the probabilities of the many colorful, wonderful, absolutely horrendous conflicts that come along with them, became kind of like the nightmare I couldn’t escape from even with my eyes wide open.
At present, I dread any news channel or blog or website, or even a tweet (and the word ‘tweet’ is the least ominous sounding thing) that promises to give all the juicy details of the latest conflict of interest that can potentially change hundreds and thousands of lives, human and otherwise, for the worse. I dread feeling hopeless. Because the six-year-old me, who was at one moment, playing alone with her teddy, and at another, feeling utterly melancholy at the thought of having to grow older someday, is still inside me, and is still me. There’s no escaping it; the positives and the negatives, the good and the evil, the heaven and the hell, all that make up the world we know, and sometimes remember to love, today. And if that isn’t enough to make a grown man cry…
Conflicts of interest are volatile, in that, they’re all a matter of perception. Think about it- a right doing in one’s eye, could easily be a wrong doing in another’s. That is enough to brew the most monstrous of wars. How powerful, and yet how fragile, a human perception is. After all, for all your strength, another’s actions or even just their words can change the way you see the world, forever. And, change the way you are, in turn.
There are times when I think that, certainly, absolute ruination isn’t the only way to end these conflicts once and for all? Certainly, humans are capable of coming to a neutral standpoint if it’s their very lives, and the lives of their loved ones, or the lives of all they love, on the line? That ‘morality’ isn’t just another term in the English dictionary, that is overlooked in favor of ‘mortality’, or as it is more often viewed as, ‘immortality’?
Man has seen enough of themselves, to determine that evil can be undone by good alone. Like Veronica Roth eloquently put it, “If there’s no conflict, there are no stories worth telling – or reading.” And my goodness, the stories that have been born of this absolution. From the Bible, Geeta, and various other religious tomes and scriptures, to epic fictional works like Lord of the rings, Harry Potter, Marvel and DC comics; we’re surrounded by the glorified and glamorized words of wisdom, that ‘Good trumps evil. Period.’ And all the stories are inspired by psychological conflicts; ones that we procure and process within the secrecy of our own minds! We’re surrounded by them – these stories. We live by them, live for them, die for them, kill for them. We forget them, even when our lives are deeply intertwined with them. And the fact of the matter is, we just haven’t let ourselves see them or understand them for what they truly are. And it is a sad notion, that. Dare I even say, the saddest truth.
Conflict. I keep writing and I’m conflicted just thinking about how to properly put my view of it across to the reader. After all, all the different tangents that its analysis can go through, make it a little hard to link it all to one point elegantly. But one thing I do know for sure is that the world has seen more wreckage brought upon by conflicts, than the good it could surely be capable of bringing, if handled with care – which is maturity, in this context.
But hey, don’t take my word for it. I’m just a conflicted girl, living in a third world country, waiting for my turn to put my thoughts across for everyone to hear. However, I’m conflicted as to just how loud I’d have to be, to be truly heard. Until then, I’ll keep listening to every other voice that makes its way to me. Maybe I’ll be able to resolve some of my own doubts then. And wow, what do you know! Maybe listening could also truly help after all, with conflicts that is.