Who Am I?

Posts May 31, 2019

I have avoided writing this very post ever since I started this blog, but here I am at half past midnight, my defenses lowered and inhibitions weakened. I know I'll regret this later, but for now, let's do this.

The very thought of being visible, being noticed, having people know who I am, is a terrifying concept to me. Whether that's because I think that nobody will like the real me, or they'll like him too much, is not something I am fully aware of.

The truth is, I don't know who I am. I never have, and I never will. I know who I want to be and I know who I'm not, but everything in between is in a state of constant flux. Something I found repugnant a week ago, I might find perfectly acceptable today. A friend of mine even told me once in school that he never knew what to say around me because I react to the same thing differently at different times.

There are a few constants, though. I know for sure that these few things are part of who I am. The first is that I am incredibly idealistic. Not to sound like an old man, but I've seen (and heard and read) a lot, yet somehow I'm constantly surprised by how barbaric man can be. A couple of days ago I read that a 14-year old girl was raped and burned to death in Uttar Pradesh, and even after everything I know that people are capable of, that still made me pause. Things like this... I don't know. Just, why would anyone do that? Why? It's just so random, so senseless. I don't deal with things like this easily, because by necessity people build these bubbles to ensconce themselves in because its too painful to deal with things like this. I guess my bubble is easily burst. Even as I'm writing this, there is someone, somewhere who doesn't know what a blog is, who doesn't know how to read or write, who gets barely enough money to afford a meal a day and who hasn't received even half as many opportunities as I have. Living in a bubble is a part of today's reality, it's the only way to keep our minds safe, but I think that many people get in so deep that they forget the need to be kind to others. I have my fair share of problems, everyone does, but one of my guiding philosophies is that I could throw a rock right now and it would land on someone who's going through twice as much as I am, and I try to treat people accordingly. "Try" was the key word in that sentence.

The second is that as much as I love India, and trust me, I love my country, I will never hate a Pakistani by default. If I were an American, I wouldn't hate Russians by default. Hating, and being abusive to, a person who was born through no fault of their own in a particular country, is just stupid. I prefer to look at a random person as a human being before a Bangladeshi or a Pakistani or an American. A baby is ground zero. What happens to it, who it grows up to be in the next few years, is not up to it. A child's mind is shaped by adults around it. If I had been born in another country, in another family, it's entirely possible that I'd be an entirely different person today. It's not up to someone to choose in which country, into which culture, they want to be born, and they shouldn't be hated for it. Let me put it this way - would you hate your best friend if they were born in another nation?

The third and last one is linked to the second, and it's the one that seems to be the most unpopular one. I'm an atheist. I don't, and probably never will, identify as a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian. I want to believe in a higher power, I want to believe that there is someone who's watching over us, because that would be comforting, that would mean that we are not alone. I understand, okay? I understand why faith came to be, why so many people turn to God as a ray of hope. I get it. But I'm not programmed to believe in someone of whose existence there is no evidence whatsoever. And I make a clear distinction between God and religion. The Bible was written by man, and so was the Bhagavad Gita, and so was every other religious scripture out there. They were not written by Him. If God does exist, and believe me, I want that, I have no doubt in my mind that He was not born from a virgin's womb. As much as I understand why people believe in God, I do not understand how millions and billions of people can follow a religion. Thousands of years ago, man wrote a book, and because of the things written in that book, you're going to wage war against followers of another book that another man wrote a thousand years ago? How does that happen? How do so many people blindly persecute, murder, rape others simply because they think that's what God wants based on something written in a book? I genuinely do not understand that. Faith is beautiful. It is sublime. It is wonderful. Religion, on the other hand, is divisive and hateful. It brings people together? 10 people in a room, existing separately. They don't talk to each other, they don't interact in any way with each other. Along comes religion. 4 out of the 10 people think that following it is a good idea! Religion has brought them together! What about the other 6? The 4 are now at loggerheads with the 6. Different, clashing ideologies. Religion didn't bring people together, it divided them. Hold on to God. Draw strength from Him when you need it the most. Never let yourself feel alone because no matter what happens, you know that God watching over you. But don't hate others because your version of God differs from theirs. Don't bomb buildings and gun down innocent people because you think that's what He wants. Because if God is everything I want Him to be, he doesn't.

So there. Nothing with me is certain, except these three things. Even I don't know who I'll be tomorrow, who I am today, who I was yesterday. I don't think identity is a destination, but a journey. I'll always be trying to know who I am, and right now, that's okay. But it's entirely possible that tomorrow, after waking up, that will be absolutely terrifying to me.

Thank you for reading, have a great day, and see you next time.

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