Life is an enduring mystery! A logic-defying experience most of the time!
The other day, it was the birthday of a friend who is estranged from me. I wished him on WhatsApp but he didn’t acknowledge my message. He is a classmate from school. And he’s angry with me because I prevented him from driving back home, after we had had several drinks together, one night in 2012. In fact, a couple of days after the episode, he had told me that “I could not be trusted to be a friend anymore.” I greatly appreciate his honesty in at least telling me so, on my face, even though it hurt me then that I was being misunderstood. Yesterday, someone who I don’t know too well at all, apart from him being a social acquaintance, contacted me, on his own, and without my even asking for it, offered to help me out with a complicated situation. While thanking him profusely, I said I was not sure if he knew me well enough and therefore appraised him so that he could be doubly sure if he really wanted to help me in the manner he was offering. This person cut me short though, saying: “I know you need this help right now. Don’t think too much AVIS. I implicitly trust you.”
I woke up this morning thinking about this irony. It was both stark and beautiful. It was tragic and moving. Tragic because someone who I grew up with has said that he does not want to trust me anymore – for the most unfounded reason! And moving because a mere acquaintance was willing to trust me!
There are no answers to why Life happens to us in the ways in which it does. Consider another instance: a former colleague of mine reached out recently saying he had landed a top job at a social media giant. This, despite the fact that, according to his own admission, “he is technologically challenged”. He classified it as a miracle and wondered how it had happened to him. And I pointed out to him that “all Life is a miracle”. So, let’s stop analyzing Life, trying to apply theoretical constructs or frameworks to it.
Think about it. Everything about Life is ironical. Those who have everything material are often searching for happiness, something that’s easily, freely available! And those who have nothing, while working hard to acquire everything material, are perhaps happier, because they know they can live, as they have lived so far, without money and things. Or those who have gone through a Life-changing crisis have often found a great inner peace. Because despite their upheavals, they have understood the impermanent and transient nature of Life! But when you think logically, when a storm ravages one’s Life, you expect pain, grief and suffering. Not inner peace. Yet ask anyone who’s been tossed up by Life and thrashed down, and they will swear that Life’s trials and tribulations have only made them stronger and more peaceful.
Clearly, then, we can never understand the meaning of Life. The only way to live well is to make this lifetime meaningful! Also, let’s welcome Life’s ironies and paradoxes. Because without them, won’t Life be boring and listless?