By Asiya Shoaib Ismail
Humankind are the most selfish of all living creatures, not possessing the capability to live beyond themselves. This is defined by the way they sit and nurse grievances or mourn those who have passed away. This nature of man is the one thing that goes against him in most cases. The ability to remember some of the most hurtful or embarrassing incidents of the past life sometimes lead onto feelings of hate or regret which are detrimental to the growth of humans. The power to let go is what truly lacks in us, and therefore the concept of ‘forgiving and forgetting’ is unachievable because we cannot forget; not unless we all get amnesia and forget ourselves and those around us.
Another side to this idea is that from the day we gain consciousness, most of us develop certain ideals of what we think is right and who we think is right. On this basis, we go ahead and form affiliations with people and start picking on those we don’t agree with. So somebody becomes ‘stupid’, somebody a ‘heretic’, somebody a ‘saint’ and somebody a thing so hateful that you wish it was dead. By doing so we either put a select few on a pedestal higher than us, while the rest become mere creatures; filthy creatures to be ridiculed, maligned and proven to be lesser than us. And humans as a social group thoroughly enjoy maligning and offending each other. The ‘us & them’ as they call it.
What I fail to understand though is, why humans love to stoop to a level that rarely befits them being the only animal with a brain large enough to think straight and think practically. The breath and energy people waste on refuting arguments and shutting each other up can truly be used to much greater use such as researching or through polite debates rather than random slander. Furthermore, I don’t understand why humans love to believe that they are the most amazing and awesome thing in this universe. Though they claim that there is a being superior to them, a god or a higher deity, they usually tend to use this being when it suits them otherwise choosing to completely flaunt the authority they claim it possesses. They use god to prove how the world has been made for them and them alone and that everything on earth exists for the benefit of the human. Though it is true that the human is the only highly developed animal, one cannot deny the entire history and heritage behind them, the great number of species and the environmental conditions that helped the mammals develop into who they are today.
When one looks at the entire cosmos and the wondrous activities that happen within it, and then sees the puny size of planet earth and the even punier humans, it appears rather shameful, the narcissistic and arrogant behaviour of these bacteria-like humans who think that they own the world, when in fact there is a much larger world outside of them and their silly grieving selves. Man proves to be, dumb and at the same time, the smartest animal to roam the earth.
The writer is self-studying the Korean language and Hangul script at the moment and possesses a keen interest in learning as much about the Korean culture as is possible.