Complacency is the hardest disease to cure. It is a beast that lives within all of us. It keeps us blind, sedated with false promises, and much easier to control. It is so much easier to live a complacent life, so much easier not to ask the big questions, so much easier not to wonder beyond the bubble we have built around ourselves.
Children are born into this world with a blank slate. Their minds are free of prejudice, of opinions and biases, of hate and love, and knowledge. Through observation and a bit of naive imagination they soak human existence up like a sponge. Everything is new to them at first. The first sting to the eyes from looking at the sun. The first crunch of autumn leaves under their feet. Their first swim in the river, the lake, the ocean. Their first betrayal, broken heart, or shattered promise. Children are molded by these events until these events stop being new and start being predictable. As we grow older we fall into a common rhythm of life and we stop observing the world. What had once been a Technicolor landscape for our childish eyes to take in is now a desolate screen with the same old images. We become bored with living. We stop asking questions because we think we know everything.
But we must not stop asking questions. Because, in the big scheme of things, we know nothing. The easiest part of this explanation is to start with science. But how could something so linear, numerical, and powerful offer an explanation into the unknown. For all the power it wields in our lives, it cannot yet explain whether matter is actually energy, nor can it predict whether electromagnetic radiation is a wave or a particle (stating that it exists somewhere in between). Even time, something so constant in our daily lives, is lost to scientific equations in the concept of relativity. Science cannot tell us whether we live in a simulation, whether parallel universes exist, or whether or brain, so defaulted by the process of evolution, hallucinates our reality. And what about the big question of consciousness? How can we know that the human experience is something more than a temporary collection of atoms going down a predetermined path? How can a three-pound organ within our skulls give rise to that voice inside of our heads? Where do our thoughts even come from? And can we even control them? Or are they just a product of a combination of external physical factors, with our lives nothing more than a chain of causes and effects? Are we just cogs in a machine doing what we were always meant to do, or are we free?
The fact that humans life exists is a miracle. The fact that one electron has the same magnitude of charge as a proton is a miracle. The fact that earth is the exact distance away from its parents star, allowing it to have water, is also a miracle. We must embrace these phenomena, these wonders, and this sheer uncertainty surrounding human existence, uncage the thoughts inside our heads and let them soar free.
We live in a society where it is frighteningly easy to obey the social standard and follow along with the person ahead of you, but when our bodies become slaves to conformity, having a rebellious and critical mind is the best cure for complacency.
© Kat’s Observations – 2018
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