Brave Enough to Die
Oft time when trying to assess our courage, one wonders, am I brave enough to die? We hear stories of those who gave their lives for what they believed in. Be these myths or real-life incident, we glorify embracing death as the testament of courage. What we often forget is that more than dying, it is important to live for a cause worth dying for. Even the chicken that gets picked from a lot, saves the lives of all the others over whom he was chosen. But the fate of all those he had saved remains the same.
Being driven to change the world does not call for the sacrifice of your ability to breathe. It calls for the sacrifice of life at a much deeper level. The level where your own existence matters not and you live only for the cause that you feel serves a greater purpose. A cause that benefits not just one race or society, but all humans and other animals living on this planet. The question isn’t whether you are brave enough to die, it is whether you are brave enough to rise above yourself?
On my way back home, when I was in the third grade, I came across a slum dweller who was beating his wife. Their child, who was not much older than me, sat in a corner with a terror on his face that I haven’t witnessed again. It was terrifying even for me, but that wasn’t all that scared me back then. This episode was happening on a busy road and no one even tried to help that woman. The husband was clearly drunk and the child around the age of nine had to bear witness to that episode from start to end. Even to this day, 12 years on, I haven’t been able to get over the guilt of not even trying to do something. Does age justify the lack of courage to stand up for something that was wrong? How old do you need to be to stand for justice?
Now that I look back at that day, I realize that what made me move away from that scene without doing anything was self-obsession. So strong was the love I had for myself that the thought of being hurt in the process, mentally or physically, kept my feet moving. Have I changed any? The honest answer is NO. because even to this day I haven’t been able to kill myself. For if I were dead to me, I wouldn’t think about myself so much as I would’ve of helping a life.
Glory Among the Living
Those who live for the living, don’t consider death as the apex of their struggle. Don’t get me wrong, for I have a lot of respect for those who die to serve a bigger purpose. But this process of being inspired by martyrdom has made us ignorant of causes that require the strength of a different sort. Recently, I met a Tibetan monk, Geshe Jamyang, who is the founder and director of Tong-Len Charitable Trust, aimed at spreading education and changing the lives of the slum children of the Dharamshala region. Despite a lack of cooperation and opposition from the people he was trying to help, the courage to stand for what he believed in and the will to help the living is what has led to an organization that is changing the lives of many children of the slum.
Many of these kids must’ve gone through the same thing that that kid from 12 years back had. The difference is that now these kids have been given an opportunity to create a different life. A life where they know what is wrong and what is right. Why hasn’t this culture of domestic violence gone away? Maybe it is because these kids who witness domestic violence never learn to stand up for what scares them. Who says education is a waste?
Education is hope.
It is the will to create a better world.
Education, when done right, is understanding that rather than being afraid, be brave.
Be brave enough to fight for the living.
To Each His Own Battle
We all want to find our purpose of being on this planet. 2 billion and still counting, and amongst all those, we exist. If there is a God who has a plan, then where do I fit in? Is the purpose of humanity to be remembered by generations to come? Getting famous sounds like one thing that can be done to serve this purpose of leaving a mark. But with billions of people, come billions of battles to be fought. What all of us, with the exception of few like Geshe Jamyang, need to fight against the most, is the obsession with our own selves.
The purpose of humanity is the protection of life. The upliftment of the living. We are the saviours of this beautiful creation of a supernatural being we call God. All things come to an end and so will life on this planet. It doesn’t matter if the generations to come know my name. It doesn’t matter once you stop breathing. But till you are here, till you have breath in your body, find the courage to live for the living.