I was surfing on the internet and came across a bizarre piece of news which stated that a man killed another man because he did not let him park his car outside his house. These sorts of news have become so commonplace these days that we just do not bother to have a look at them and be involved in some thinking business. It seems that we, being the complacent lot that we are, have accepted this too as a norm. However, there is still a ray of hope when I hear people getting outraged over hearing about such incidents. That outrage is what comes naturally to a person and not the one mentioned in the news.
Human mind is intrinsically guided by base human needs and tendencies. It is barbaric in nature. This savage that rests inside each one of us has successfully been won over and repressed by the veneer of social norms and customs. The basic urge to look after one’s own good before anything else needs to be taken control of lest it go out of hands and turn things ugly. Just to satiate one’s hunger and greed, one tends to go overboard, crossing all boundaries, leaping into the realm of infinite madness.
This sort of insanity is not one that artists or other creatively passionate people are said to be blessed with. Such erratic behaviour is simply loaded with negative connotations. This negativity is so intense that it has now started taking toll on people’s lives, making human hungry for human. I deliberately use the metaphor of ‘hunger’ so as to make you, readers, relate to this aspect easily. What happens when one feels hungry? The answer is that no matter how well bred a person is, but if the basic need for food is not met, the person becomes very irritable and loses sanity for that small amount of time. This metaphor can be extended to nay realm of social living. Humans kill humans for their own benefit and seem to have no qualms about it. This truly is a very deplorable and pitiable condition of our society on a global level.
There is always a need for having mental restraint in our lives. In today’s world where nations are battling with other nations for petty things, where protests and violent counter-protests have become the daily talk, this little exercise becomes one of prime importance. The issue of concern is that as technology is getting more and more advanced, the lesser and lesser do we spend time with ourselves alone. The words like ‘introspection’ and even ‘retrospection’ have become like hollow vessels whose nectar has been drained away. We daily look into the mirror but we fail to look within ourselves. The irony of the situation is that we do not think twice before judging a random person walking on a random street. If only we spent that amount of time and had that much of interest in analysing ourselves. The epoch making statement by Descartes, “I think therefore I am” has been completely done away with and fallen flat on the surface of nothingness.
When we lose our mental restraint, we become dispossessed. Our actions and speech go out of our control and no matter what, the person responsible for all this is nobody else but we ourselves. Human beings are social animals not merely animals that we can just go astray as and when we feel like. Having mental restraint does not mean that your freedom and individuality get restricted. Ours is not an intention to make your case one of arrested development. There is just a simple need of self-discipline. The discipline that comes from within no longer remains some sort of restrictive philosophy but a way of life that helps us to emerge as better human beings. Being a part of society, it is natural to maintain a basic decorum and not turn into a barbaric creature going on a killing spree just because someone hit my car.
Are we humans who are placed at the highest pedestal in the biosphere simply incapable of handling our demonic instinct? Do we not have a conscience? Or is it so hollow that it holds no significance? If we do not do something about this absurdity of our behaviour then it seems that we are just headed towards rather backwards to the primitive age. We should realise and recognise the worth of our existence. There is a need to have an inclusive approach with regards to others. The society as a whole needs to be refurnished and reframed. The basic structure has to be made so strong and so pristine that no evil can thrive on it. These things might sound to be way out of our leagues. However, the truth is that the society is made up of you, me and all of us. If all of us improve individually, then we can surely make this world a better place to live. In addition to that, the best benefit that each and every individual is certain to reap out of this mental restraint is a considerable and remarkable improvement in one’s relationships with the people around, leading to a happier, simpler and a better and holistic way of life.