There was this one time long ago that man discovered fire.You wouldn’t remember the time. Anyway, at first he was really scared, because of the way fire burns, causing smoke and chars everything. But then man learnt how to use fire to his advantage. Right from keeping warm to cooking, and thus he advanced a little bit on the ladder that we call evolution. But what is amazing is that even after thousands of years of climbing bit by bit on nature’s evolutionary ladder, the first thing man does on seeing something he doesn’t understand is run for fucking life. Poor guys like Galileo and Copernicus who tried to go against the current, and unravel the mysteries of the universe got screwed because everyone else feared what they had to say. Newton’s work Principia Mathematica was published after he died. Who knows, maybe he was scared he’d get into trouble if he published that stuff. And why go that far? Don’t all kids today “fear” subjects that they don’t understand in class? “Meri “Maths/Science/whatever” weak hai” is like the trademark safe phrase these days.
Call yourself as advanced as you might, but everything from your kids to the movies today are glaring proof of the mentality, that when we see something we don’t understand, we run the opposite way. Poor Casper! We even see “God’s wrath” used to explain tsunamis. Like what?! And this isn’t just for aliens or Math or God that I speak. Most men and women these days claim to have “commitment issues”, which roughly translate to “I have no clue what the fuck will happen to me if we get together, so let’s not do that shit because I’m scared as fuck”. Poets for centuries have tried to define love, but have only gotten a vague idea of something that is subjective. And in today’s world of speed dating and mobile application sex, we’ve moved farther away from that definition. And we have “commitment issues”. Pfft! No! You, sir/madam, want carnal relations without the emotional attachment; you Charlie Sheen!
The fear of the unknown has been a deterrent to most of us poor souls, because as puny as we might be, we like to plan. And you can’t plan for what you don’t know. And that scares us. We cry for freedom and yet we prefer to be shackled by the limitations of what we “know”. That way, Jon Snow is screwed for life! He knows nothing. So conditioned are you to live within the bounds of the known, that you’d rather sit on a table and stare at the wall paint, than try to ask out that girl you really like, because you don’t “know” what she’ll say. That you’d rather sit and copy in an exam and forget about it, than try to figure out what went wrong and try to fix it. Because if you don’t know it already, you’d rather run from it.
Star Trek has really inspired me that way. “Space: the final frontier: Here are the voyages of the starship Enterprise, where it’s dedicated to a five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” Damn, goosebumps, every single time! The very motto of explorers and adventurers everywhere has been to break free of the mundaneness of everyday life, and to explore the unknown, to know more about the unseen, and to unravel the mysteries of the universe.
Don’t just sit on your laptops. Instead of watching porn, go get a date. Instead of making excuses, go practice. Instead of doubting, go face your worst fears. At least you’ll know your mettle. And you won’t be scared again. What you know will never be enough. Never stop to marvel at how far ahead you’ve come, because there will always be someone ahead of you. And that just means you could’ve done more. So straighten up your spine, and rise and shine.
Sketch By: Nishtha Gera