Someone I know told me recently that his family was “living with a lot of uncertainty” at this time, given the condition of a member of their family who is battling a final stage cancer. The phrase ‘living with uncertainty’ made me pause and reflect. Aren’t we all, all the time, dealing with uncertainty?
The nature of Life itself is uncertain. The moment you are born uncertainty follows you like a shadow. Every living moment has no guarantees. Anything, absolutely anything, can happen. The past few days, the papers in India are running the story of a 50-day old baby in Tamil Nadu going up in flames, on its own, every now and then. Doctors treating the baby, that has severe burn injuries, are divided over the theory that the child is affected by the ‘spontaneous human combustion’ syndrome. Apparently, one historical view is that the baby’s case is the rarest of rare, among the very few that have been reported in the last 200 years, from across the world! Even so, can you imagine a human baby catching fire on its own?
If Life is intrinsically uncertain, why is dealing, and living, with uncertainty, so difficult? The problem lies in our “educated and informed” definition and interpretation of Life. A common view, handed down the generations, is that if we have money, many things in Life are predictable with some certainty. So, we have all fallen into “earning-a-living” and feel “comfortable” in the knowledge that money can bail us out in uncertain times. Even so, invariably, at least once in our lifetimes, more as a reminder of its true, inscrutable nature, Life will pose us a challenge that money cannot solve. Like that health (cancer) situation discussed above, or a relationship mess or a reputation loss as in the case of Hyderabad-based techie and former employee of HCL, Siddique Taj Kazi. 40-year-old Siddque, a father of five, lost his job with HCL and was jailed for four months (earlier this year) under charges of abetting ‘terrorism’ in a 10-year-old case of a bomb blast at a bus depot in Ghatkopar, Mumbai, in 2003. On August 2nd, the Mumbai Crime Branch pleaded with a Court that they found no evidence against Siddque and that they would like to drop charges against him. The Court has since acquitted Siddque. “But what about the loss of his reputation, his job and our peace of mind,” asks his beleaguered family, through their lawyer, Rebecca Gonsalves. Pertinent question. But am not sure they will get an answer – either from the Courts or from Life!
The best way then to live in peace appears to be to drop the desire to be certain about everything in Life. Clearly, no amount of security that you garner in your favor ever works in the face of Life’s design. Despite all your plans, only what is to happen will happen. Know that when everything is so secure, or seemingly secure per your calculations, you are actually dead. Because death is the ultimate security – it is fixed, there’s no movement. Life, on the other hand, is flowing. And anything in flux has no form. So, welcome and choose to be comfortable with uncertainty. Then, and only then, despite its intrinsic insecurity, will you LIVE – truly, fully, happily!