Humanity – The Confusion 

Ah yes…the question that has confused, baffled and confuddled scientists, mathematicians, philosophers and mostly everyone else for centuries now. What are Humans? What is the characteristic that differentiates us from every other living creature on the planet?

Numerous personalities throughout history have given us various definitions of this fantastic being defined in science as Homo Sapien. And every single definition can be refuted. Definitions, no matter how universally truthful your professors would have you believe, are ways of arguing with yourself about what’s important. “What’s important….” Just that much is enough to know how subjective and relative definitions can be.

For a person who values the ability of humans to be able to reason on a higher level, keeping in mind the entire genus (general) and differentia (specific) fundamental that the extremely wise yet stupidly confused Aristotle put forward, the definition of humans would be along the following lines: 

 Humans are self-aware social mammals generally possessing the ability to speak, reason, and use complex tools.

However, what if we decided to define ourselves not in relation to other animals, but in relation to other conceivably conscious human beings and their relational hierarchies? To put it up simply, there would be someone who would find it……let’s say, more appropriate……to define humans in relation to other, more divine beings so to say (looking at you Genesis 1:27). For them, the definition of humans would be completely different:

Humans belong to the group of conscious beings that are carbon-based, solar system dependent, limited in knowledge, prone to error, and mortal.

Just as there is no mono culture for people’s understanding of movements like feminism, there’s also no concrete way to define humans that takes into account all possible factors of differentiation. 

Humans are the only species on the planet with a consciousness. Every animal species operates on the basis of their experiences, their learned habits, their stimuli. In other words, actions taken by animals are purely instinctive. However, humans are capable of having rational thought, deciding for themselves what’s right from wrong.

But, like Uncle Ben said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” We are the dominant species on the planet, disgustingly overpowering any other species on the planet. And yet, unlike other organisms which adapt to fit their surroundings, we as a species are more inclined towards making our surroundings adapt to us. The weather is too hot in a particular region? Put air-conditioning in every place possible! Lack of land to build upon? Reclaim the land from swamps and mangroves, it’s not as if they’ve been helping us in the first place!

The various unending questions of humanity shall possibly never be satisfactorily answered, but the question of “What should we do as humans?” is another matter entirely. We may not understand what we are, but figuring out that we, as the dominant species and the only conscious species, have a responsibility is definitely no Herculean task. All our mistakes, all our wars, everything wrong that has happened to our planet and to our fellow Homo Sapiens can be traced back to just one singular factor; ignorance. It’s been roughly 100,000 years since we’ve been around, evolved and thinking. 

It’s time that we put aside all our differences, our stupid arguments and our mindless questions, and start truly progressing towards taking ourselves in particular and our species as a whole to their zenith. 

As Spock used to say, “Live long and prosper!”

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Perfect specimens…..and their non-existence

Everyone, and I repeat, everyone at some point in their life has been told that they must “Strive to be perfect.” They’re told to chase this dream of being and individual that is a symbol of perfection in society, in other words, and individual that can never be.

Perfection, in all its glory, is a concept that may be completely relative. An object can be perfect for a singular purpose at a time. For example, let’s assume that paper is the perfect medium for writing. However, paper is not the perfect medium for putting out a fire.

Hence, that completely rules out the possibility of there being absolute perfection, since absolute perfection would entail an object or a being to be absolutely perfect for every purpose possible. If a particular purpose isn’t attached to an object, then it’s not possible for an object to possess this fantastic quality of perfection.

Perfection is a rhetorical trick. It’s a will-o’-the-wisp that one would chase into a swamp of endless dreams. As long as one chases perfection, one will always ignore the ‘good-enoughs’, ending one’s journey with nothing but bitter regret.

Having said that, one must yet “strive to achieve perfection”. This might sound hypocritical, but there’s more meaning to it. Achievement of perfection should be quantified by satisfaction. If an individual is satisfied by their current situation, be it political, economic, or even romantic for that matter, then that would mean that they’ve achieved their perfection. 

However, man is known as the animal that is never satisfied. Pop-culture on various occasions has likened the human race to parasitic organisms, which thrive off of other organisms for survival and multiply endlessly with insatiable demands. So, in order to achieve such a level of satisfaction, one would have to rise above the conventional definitons of humanity and stop thinking robotically and start thinking humanly. 

The task at hand is a moronically easy one. So easy, that we as a society of “thinking individuals” should be reprimanded for not having achieved it yet. The trick lies in finding our perfection in our lives as they are, and finding our satisfaction according to our abilities and performances.

Perfection isn’t an absolute nor a relative term. It’s mere existence itself depends upon the perspective of you, as an indivual. 

So if you feel that you can’t reach that peak, try looking at it differently. You might already be standing there.

The Truth Shall Set You Free…

John 8:32 – “Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

The truth is a powerful weapon in the hands of the righteous. Yes…those words are my own. No… I’m not feeling very religious or philosophical today. Yes….I’m probably a bit delirious after a long day.

But, if you think about it, what we know to be the truth, what proof do we have of it being the truth?

What if it is not the truth in the first place?

According to my personal opinions, truth is a relative concept. There are different versions of it. And any one of those versions could have happened, but without any true proof, none of them can be believed. 

We hear a lot of things, various stories. There’s one fact which everyone should know – people are storytellers. Everyone is telling some story or another. And which of these stories is actually what happened……perhaps nobody shall know.

It’s a world of illusion around us. We all are loving in our own little fantasies, trying to make our perfect paradises. And in the process of making our paradises perfect, we fabricate our realities according to our likings, our preferences.

Even when it comes to knowing people, you can never be sure that you truly know someone. Outward appearances may show a jolly old man who loves telling stories, but delve deeper…much deeper…and you’ll find an old man who’s faced the worst the world has to offer and so tries his best to make sure nobody else faces the same harsh reality.

It’s almost impossible to say whether you know someone truly, or all you’re seeing is a mask that they’ve cleverly fabricated. And not all masks are out of selfishness or evil intentions. Some are also out of fear, sadness even.

Life was meant to be simple, fun, memorable. It was meant to be beautiful. But, the moment we learnt to hide the truth, was the same moment where we chose our paths toward complexity. We learnt to portray illusions better than the truth. The truth is bitter, harsh, frightening even. Lies are sweet, soft, soothing. 

There’s just one hiccup. One lie leads to another, which leads to another. And it doesn’t take much time for us to find ourselves trapped in this intricate web of lies which we find difficult, sometimes nigh impossible to escape from.

And no amount of lies will be able to free you from that intricate web. And that’s where the truth comes in, because in the end,

The trap set by an intricate web of lies can only be burned down by the flame of truth.

Is Silence Truly Golden?

“Silence is golden”, a proverb we are all quite familiar with. Everyone has been told this in class by a teacher who’s trying to look wise while making the class silent. But, do we know what it truly means?

It is often said that words are the biggest asset of a human. Emotions, feelings, thoughts, ideas – they can all be communicated best through words, right?

In many situations, silence can communicate what words will never be able to. Being silent is in most cases much better than getting into a heated argument with someone who probably is never going to listen. 

Silence frees us from people’s words. Being silent about your powers, your gifts, your talents, takes away the power from others to crush your belief in yourself. If people don’t know about the best parts of you, they don’t have the power to judge or criticise you.

Silence is almost a necessity for reflection. The one secret about social interaction which nobody will tell you – people fear silence. Whenever there is a silent moment in the conversation, we fill it up with nonsensical chatter. If we aren’t comfortable with our own silence, we aren’t comfortable with how we are feeling at the moment. If we can be comfortable being silent, we can be comfortable in reflecting on ourselves, and that’s when the true healing starts.

But, there’s probably a reason to why ‘people fear silence’. And that’s when proximity comes in.

The closer you are to people in a particular situation, the worse the effect that silence can have. One important thing you must know is that ‘people only know what they know’. It’s necessary to keep people updated. If you don’t know everything, then make sure that they know at least as much as you do. And all this for just one reason,

When people don’t have information, they tend to invent their own scenarios.

Silence can fuel rumours. People make assumptions, make scenarios. They stretch the truth and even end up fabricating their own reality. Feelings like fear and frustration rise. People who were completely focused may end up giving up on hope.

And all these emotionally-driven reactions are cause by the unknown – silence.

Sure, there may be times when faking a lie is much better than revealing the truth. But, instead of the lie, which can have even more serious implications in the future, how about revealing only enough to pacify the other person? Silence in such situations never helps, but instead, only ends up making matters worse, making the other person stretch the little facts that they have even more.

Which would bring me to a conclusion the same as the title,

“Is Silence truly golden?”

The World’s Deadliest Poison and Most Potent Antidote…

That’s a picture of the Inland Taipan, found in a small region in West-Central Australia. It’s poison is said to be the most lethal of all snake venoms. The median lethal dose (LD50) for mice is 0.025 mg./kg. It has a smaller venom yield than its coastal cousin, but its venom is nearly 4 times as toxic.
The best antivenom for it is the CLS Taipan Antivenom, extracted from the Coastal Taipan. And yet, if treatment is not provided in less than 30-45 minutes, it can prove fatal for the victim.

Why have I given you all this excessive knowledge which might probably never be of any use to you? Well, why don’t you apply the analogy of snake venom to the words that you speak and then take another look at it?

Man has possessed the deadliest weapon in the world, from the beginning of his evolution; his tongue. The words that we speak can have astounding effects on the people who listen to those words. It was plain words which enabled Hitler to come to power and garner the support of thousands. It was plain words which helped spread the ideologies of religion to the world.

And, in the current age, it’s plain words which will decide your fate in society.

We live in an age where our words are sometimes valued more than our actions. People remember what you had said at that party a year ago, but they forget how you were there for them when they needed someone to stand by them. 

We live in a world where free speech is a human right which cannot be challenged, and yet, we aren’t free to speak out our minds without indirectly hurting the sentiments of a Petty Peter or a Silly Susan. Unless people’s opinions can be put forth, change for the better shall forever remain a mirage in the distance. 

François-Marie Arouet, better known as the renowned French thinker Voltaire said, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to my death your right to say it.”

However, because our speech is free, it shouldn’t be taken advantage of. Sure, we are allowed to give our opinions, ask the question “Why?” But at the same time, our words can be daggers, one sentence causing enough hurt to destroy relationships. 

It takes years to build trust, one of the most important parts of any relationship. And yet, trust is like a tree, it looks mighty and strong, but a single spark can burn it to the ground. And for ‘sorrys’, this is how a ‘sorry’ works…

And yet, we all make the same mistakes again and again, not thinking twice about what we are saying, and then regretting saying it later, after the damage is done. 

Free speech is important, but silence does less damage.

Hello, World!

Good day amazing and wonderful people of the Internet! How are you? How’s life been? How’s your day going?

Oops! Pardon me, I got a little carried away. First, let me introduce myself.

My name is Kevin Martin. I’m the friendly neighbourhood Spiderman…..I mean…..16 year old.

I love reading, writing (hence the existence of the blog) and basically almost all forms of art.

And well, you’ll know a lot more about me on this journey through the amazingly complex landscape called ‘my mind’.

“My thoughts are like butterflies. They’re beautiful, but they fly away”.  So here I am, trying to make sense of this world that we live in, the lives that we encounter, the decisions we take, the experiences we have. While I share my thoughts trying to find my place in the world, I hope that I can help you find yours as well.

The late Robin Williams had once said, “Life. It’s all a bit strange. But what’s even stranger is we find it strange at all, despite it being the only thing we know our whole lives”. 

So join me, as I embrace the strangeness as well as the conventionality of this once in a lifetime experience, called ‘life’.