A few weeks back, I had enrolled myself in a basketball camp at a local stadium after a break of almost three years. I went on day one, all excited to play something I love but by the time I got home, the happiness and excitement had faded away and dejection had set in and no, it weren’t the sore muscles. The reason was I had no one to talk to at the stadium. I spent the time between matches and warm ups, sitting alone at one of the benches, looking at others while they played and talked with their friends. You might think that I should have initiated a conversation with people around me if I was feeling so left out but I have never been that person. My ability to make small talk is better left untouched. So the two hours I spent without talking to anybody about what I was thinking about, without anybody so much as noticing me, took their toll and I didn’t attend the next day or the next or the next.
Now when I think about that one day, an essay I have read – “Ideas That Have Helped Mankind” by Bertrand Russell – comes to mind. The opening paragraph of the essay is, I quote:
“Before we can discuss this subject we must form some conception as to the kind of effect that we consider a help to mankind. Are mankind helped when they become more numerous? Or when they become less like animals? Or when they become happier? Or when they learn to enjoy a greater diversity of experiences? Or when they come to know more? Or when they become more friendly to one another? I think all these things come into our conception of what helps mankind, and I will say a preliminary word about them.”
The words, “Are mankind helped when they become more numerous? … Or when they become more friendly to one another?” are what I’d like to point out.
Is being among people a comfort to us? Do we feel more at home when we have someone to talk to or someone to share with? Or are we all like Tim?
Why should we have to depend on another person to be happy? Why should we be accepted by someone in order to validate the very reason of our existence? Hasn’t He made us self-sufficient?
They say that man is a social animal, that we are built to live in a society, in a world full of people with different interests and different opinions. This naturally means making adjustments and compromises, which we gradually do. Why? I mean, why do we make adjustments? So that we can exist together. What makes that so important?
Imagine a world where people don’t depend on others for anything. Do you think such a world is possible, even in imagination? No, I’m not hinting at anything. I just want you to think over it and decide what you have to say in this regard.
All human actions have purposes and naturally our will to get along with homo sapiens is not without a reason. What reason, do you think, that is?
Now that I’m re-reading this, I feel as if I’ve lost myself among so many questions. I feel as if the answers are right here, with me but I can’t see them. I’ve posted this, anyway.
P. S. – “Ideas That Have Helped Mankind” by Bertrand Russell is one essay that I recommend. It is very thought provoking and very insightful. Read it if you can.