The Glass Right Before Us has been edited by Rushi Bhimani.
“Get busy living, or get busy dying.”
-Stephen King, The Shawshank Redemption
It is funny, really. How a thing as grand as our life can be compared to a thing as small as a mobile phone screen. The other day, I was looking at the small cracks on the toughened glass on my phone, and I got to thinking something very unusual. A trail of thought that described life in a rather weird analogy. The similarity of a toughened glass and the constraints we put on ourselves in life.
I don’t understand the concept of this glass. We buy fancy, expensive phones for their touch technology, that this glass makes difficult to use. And if that glass ever breaks, that is when we get to use the actual touch for the first time. However, eventually we cover it with another one of those glass pieces tomorrow. Back to the same inconvenient touch.
What is the point?
Are we doing the same with our lives? Are we so busy being careful that we forget to live?
Throughout our childhood, we are busy with school. We go to tuition, various coaching classes, participate in extracurricular activities, and what not. Why? Just to have a ‘secure’ future. It feels like we have our own toughened glass on, ever since we were born. Protected from all the vulnerabilities, losing out on the real experiences.
We are never granted with a breathing space. As soon as we step out of school, comes college. Before we realize, we grow up, and the glass just gets thicker. Now it’s not just a class full of people, rather we have to compete with thousands. There are a billion things to worry about all at once. The coaching classes still play an important role, the impending future still haunts us.
We hope, after all the worry and those sleepless nights we will end up having a nice job. Perhaps, settle for a not so nice one. We work our way from 9 to 5. Work to please the bosses, who work to please their bosses. An endless cycle of nothingness. After a hundred power point presentations, thousands of excel sheets and millions of rough drafts, we are still worried about the future. The glass, my friend, is still on.
Then we get married, maybe have a couple of kids. More people to worry about, more mouths to feed, more lives to satisfy.
All of a sudden, our glass just has a fresh coat. A coat of worry, of misery. Now we worry about our kids, their future. In our ignorance, we just created a glass for them. In our ignorance about the present and constant fretting about the future, we forget to live.
There is no adventure in our lives; barely any moments of merriment or of unconditional happiness. We do things that make us feel safe.
A child is worried about school, a teenager is worried about college, a graduate is worried about getting a job, an office worker is worried about getting a promotion, a boss is worried about profits, parents are worried about their kids. My question is, amidst this vicious cycle of worry, when are we actually planning to live? Where are those moments of happiness, that we rightly deserve? Those spontaneous trips? I wonder, where are those joyful family nights? When would we get a nice dinner date without worrying about time?
Where is the night under a sky full of stars? Where is life? Where am I?
Can we just shatter the toughened glasses surrounding our life and start living? This glass of worry has left us with so much of stress. Let death not be the sole reason for it to break.
For once, let’s live and let’s be happy. Let’s live in the present and not die over the imminent secure future. Let us be humans once again, instead of wasting our lives being those 9 to 5 working drones.
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