One Fear I Can’t Make Peace With

Anirudh Belle

Today was one of those days when I saw my greatest fear lurking in a nearby minute. What I fear most is the day when the heart stops beating. It isn’t the snare of death that unsettles, no; it is the blatant disregard for the value of life that makes me choke!

Week after another, the blood in the ink of our headlines screams of violence, rape and tragedy; riots and wars fuelled by bigotry, politics and grabby business. And our response: painfully worse! We rationalise with preset ideologies; with the fear of venturing out of our mental comfort zones, some of us even (blatantly) justify evil. And there are two more troubling sorts among our lot: the sheep-minded who think with the herd and, the worst, the wilfully ignorant. When will we ever understand that silence in the event of violence is violence with the acquiescence of society? It only compounds the injustice!

Gaza is burning; there are innocent lives, largely women and children (below the age of 17) in the balance while the death toll achieves ghastlier highs by the day. Violence and massacre of innocents are condemnable, regardless of where you belong on the ideological spectrum. To watch so many of us just let this pass as an ordinary news piece, even settling with it, brings me closer to my menacing fear – the wilful collapse of the human condition.

Have you ever sat over your laptop or desk weeping endlessly over a grave injustice, knowing only in the end that you just can’t do anything about it? I frequent these situations every other week and it’s among the most vulnerable and helpless I can be. The only solace I get in my venting is that it adds one more voice to those that cry for justice and peace in a world that is deliberately executing its own soul.

The words of W.H. Auden plead prudent at this point:

“We would rather be ruined than change;
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.”


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