We are all born as artists, detectives, adventurers. That's how nature built us. But, somewhere down the line, the collective human consciousness began to deviate from its true nature. And, to this day, the desecration continues.
We all have an artist within us, the one that is tired - of being stifled, of being ignored, of being forgotten. Our inner artist can only thrive and survive if our quirks, our eccentricities, our inner voice, our idiosyncrasies and our individuality are allowed to light the way. But when we look to the world, so eager-eyed, to tell us who we should be and what success, failure, beauty should mean - how can our art be anything but an uninspiring, muddled, hideous, upside-down collage of a billion other equally uninspiring, muddled, hideous, upside down pieces of art.
We are all born with a blank canvass, an unwritten book. We were supposed to be the painters, the writers of our destiny, of our life. Instead, we passed our canvass and our book to the world, and let a billion other people paint on our canvass and write in our book. What kind of art does the painting convey? What kind of story does the book tell? Is it true to your true self? Does it move you? Does it make sense to you? Does it make you happy? Does it fulfill you? Does it inspire you?
Nature is full of mysteries. So is our existence. Our existence begs a question – what is our purpose? Why are we here? What is our calling? What is it that we were born to fulfill? What is our destiny on this planet?
We pride ourselves on being thinkers and problem-solvers. All our life, we chase after achievements in an unbridled quest to prove our worth to ourselves and to others. What is the point of being thinkers and achievers without having been detectives first? Without having solved or at least seeking to solve the biggest puzzle staring us in our face, the puzzle of our existence – what good is it to be a thinker and achiever? We are thinking what the world wants us to think, and we are achieving what the world wants us to achieve. How can that ever amount to fulfilling ourselves? Let's be a detective, crack the puzzle, and then go be a thinker and an achiever. That’s nature’s way.
Life is an adventure; a force of nature synonymous with the unknown. We can’t predict; we can’t control; nothing is guaranteed and nothing last forever. Once we set out to live our one true life and to give life to the artist within, the only way forward is to be an adventurer - a brazen defiance of the ways of the world and a Zen-like intensity to manifest the reality of the world within. The thing about being an adventurer is that it takes you out of an empty life, and brings out the courage, willpower and art to create what our core seeks.
Let’s be detectives, artists, adventurers because their pursuits have purity and clarity.
Let’s talk about a time when things could have turned out much worse, but they didn't. When the universe stepped in and staged a rescue; when you truly felt like the stars smiled upon you and the law of probability stacked the odds in your favor.
Sometimes, the crisscross path of our life, will take us close to the edge of something dangerous or something unfortunate, and while we teeter and peer into the darkness, poised to free fall into the unthinkably frightening void, the cosmos pulls us back, and leads us to safety, and the life that we know. This is a tale of something like that.
I was about 5 years old when I went on a trip to a nearby city that was about 5 hours away from my home. I was with my relatives, and there were probably ten of us, uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents – the whole deal. My parents stayed back as my Mum’s due date was right around the corner. So, there, I was on the trip – having a blast, and frolicking like the proverbial free child that I was. One day, on the road, there was a sight to behold, so I stood there, fixated, excited, star struck and thrilled. I gawked my eyes out at the beautiful creatures that held me in a trance: a deer, and a rhinoceros stood in a park in gigantic cages. I was so happy, it meant the world to me to keep staring at these creatures as if I expected them to look at me, (wink at me?), and acknowledge my presence. I guess I was having my own little adventure.
When I had my fill, and finally looked around, they were gone. I was all alone, and it didn't take me even a second to comprehend the stark reality and the staggering implications staring me in my face. I tore through the streets, frightened and nervous, screeching my uncle’s name into a busy street, crammed with people and cars. I don’t know if I cried, I can’t remember, but I know I was a riot. I propelled myself as fast as I could in unknown directions as if running fast enough would help me catch up with them. I have no idea how long I ran through the roads, a scared little cub.
Looking back, I don’t think I was aware of the kind of monsters and predators that lurked in the shadows, waiting to destroy an innocent life – a grim reality of our world. I am sure my parents must have warned me to death to clasp on tightly to my relatives, to cling to them no matter what, but a child’s mind is such that it can override a warning like that for something as ordinary as beasts in a cage. So what exactly triggered the classic flight or fight mode, and sent me hurtling through the streets? Instinct? The raw terror of a mind finding itself in a land of strangers? How does a kid know she is in danger?
I was saved by these gentlemen squatting by the side of the road; they were construction workers taking a break from fixing the road. Illiterate and extremely poor – underprivileged and deprived, cast out by the world that said – each man for himself. And, yet they could find it in their heart to help a kid born into a better life than them and their families. Men like them are the very definition of humanity. They took me to a police station, and left without seeking any benefit or reward. I will always be grateful to these unsung heroes who saved my life.
I am sure I passed tons of people on the road that saw a child dashing and yelling through the streets, and yet walked off as if this wasn't a situation they could fix. I shudder when I think about them. There are monsters that growl and attack, and then there are monsters that prey, and contribute to the mayhem in their own silent ways.
At the police station, they gave me water, and some sweet treats, and asked me for my home phone number. I calmed down, drank and ate, and babbled incoherently and inarticulately my grandmother’s phone number into their startled face. I don’t know what happened next, and how exactly my relatives found their way back to me, but after a while, maybe an hour later - there they were in the police station, and I was reunited with the life I belonged to. I cannot and do not want to imagine the life of a child that goes missing and is never found.
I was lost and found. Thank you, cosmos.
How about you guys? What kind of plight and rescue has shaped your life?