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Monday, January 7, 2013

On the Dawn of a New Day

I find myself writing this early in the morning of another Monday. The first day of the week. The second week of the new year. All this appears to promise a fresh start to life. But there's no guarantee that life will deliver us the peace and happiness we seek. Nor can we expect that other people can ever solve our problems and lead us to liberation. Nor can we rely simply on faith or belief in our view of how the world works or how it ought to work.

We seek to be individuals and to assert our identity. Yet, we simultaneously wish to form part of the wider humanity. As Donne put it, no man is an island. We are caught in the conflict of human existence. In order to love others, we need to love ourselves. But to truly love ourselves, we need to love others. There doesn't appear to be any resolution to our human condition. However, aren't we in a interdependent relation with the world and others?

Are we not always open to the world that surrounds us in the process of defining who we are? Aren't we mirrors of each other, reflections of each other? And yet, relatively independent of each other? Isn't our very self ever changing and constant

at the same time? Does our temporary existence make us more, or less, real beings?

And, does it really matter? For, in the context of lived experience, engaging into idle speculation carries the risk of distracting us from the life's we should be living in the now. It can rob us of the opportunity to get to know each other better and, as a result, get to know who we are better. Such speculation may lead us even to reduce living beings to mere abstract objects without autonomous being or identity. Speculation may simply fuel our narcissism and confound the distinctions between genuine effort and artificial ones only seeking to glorify the self.

A self, which in truth, remains relative and is never absolute in its reality.

I pause and stop. For I'm thirsty. Neither these words or sentences can ever truly quench my need for nourishment. This is our human condition. Failing to recognise our frailty is an insult to our integrity.

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