The Decreasingly Human Being

I put my son to sleep, watching his sleepy fingers fidgeting, holding onto and letting go of his favorite blue blanket.
The house is quiet and my husband is away at a meeting. Dinner’s ready, I just need to make some bread. My work for the day is done. Some deadlines approaching but I don’t want to give them space in my head today.

Headlines I’d heard of swirl in my head. Is the conflict getting too close to home? I’d stopped following the news a long time ago. There’s only so much your senses and heart can take before nothing shocks or hurts or moves you anymore. When you take in too many lies, you lose the ability to see the truth in anything. ISIS, Al Qaeda, Saudi, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Al Nusra, Somalia, Pakistan, India, North Korea, Iran, America, Syria, Taleban, Russia, Kashmir, Al Shabab, Boko Haram. Trafficked migrants drowning in the middle of the sea, child molestation, environmental devastation, job insecurity, financial fraud, bribery and corruption, gross parental abuse and neglect, raping refugees, looting war victims, medical crime, withholding cures, intentionally spreading epidemics, genetically modified fruit and vegetables and grains, artificially enriched eggs and bread and milk, chemically treated water, 100%-chemical soap and shampoo and cosmetics and toothpaste, artificially cooled spaces, microwaved ‘food’, chemically colored hair, fake eyelashes, botoxed bodies, virtual socialization, tasteless fashion, senseless art, packed yet dead silent trains, queues of heads bent into screens, selfies with corpses.

Why? By whom? For What? Till when? 

Have we again come to a point in history where we begin to devolve as a species? Could I really be less human than the generation before me? Will my child be less human than me?

Will he know what it’s like to read a paperback book in the morning sun, while lying down on grass and sipping home-made lemonade? Will he know how to smile genuinely from his heart when he is photographed? Will he know what a naturally beautiful woman can look like? Will he taste the fruit of a plant that was never changed since God created it? Will he ever taste water directly from a pure natural spring? Will he hear birds outside his house every morning? Will he have the courtesy and courage to smile at a stranger he commutes with? Will he know what peace and security feels like? Will he know what its like to have neighbors welcome him in their homes? Will he have thick, natural hair and naturally white teeth? What will dessert consist of when he places an order? Will he know how to comfort a lost child if he sees one? Will he know how to enjoy the sea and the breeze when he’s on holiday? Will he know what it feels like to contemplate? What level of brutality and inhumanity will he need to see to be moved? What will wearing clothes look like in his time? What will family time look like when he’s a parent? Will he ever see a virgin coral reef? Will there be such a thing as immorality when he’s grown up?

What will good mean, and what will bad look like, in his world? 

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6 thoughts on “The Decreasingly Human Being

  1. Everything that i have ever been anxious about, all in one post. Even though theres not much we can do about all of it, it still lives somewhere in your head, sneaking in thoughts in the most unexpected of moments, taking away your peace and sense of satisfaction.

    But sometimes, i think, on the flip side, we are also a generation that is more tolerating, more aware and more connected. Its weird but the good side is directly connected to the not so good side of things. We are more aware and maybe thats also why we are so desensitized? We are more connected (virtually?) and maybe thats how we are so disconnected (physically?)? It feels like a cycle of crazy paradoxes.

    But was there ever a time when a person in one part of the world was reaching out to a person in another part of the world to empathize? Was there ever a time when people from different places and cultures were all part of protesting against one movement or ideology? Maybe all is not lost, yet…

    “Will he know how to smile genuinely from his heart when he is photographed? Will he know what a naturally beautiful woman can look like? Will he taste the fruit of a plant that was never changed since God created it?” Simple yet so profoundly important.

    1. Agree Falak… as powerful as our advancement is making us in blurring borders and sharing causes, we are becoming equally powerless in trying to stop exploiting our own kind and our own planet in this insane quest for growth. Crazy cycle of paradoxes nails it.

  2. Very well written Zaynub.. I was drowning in these very thoughts literally a moment ago when I came across your blogpost. SubahanaAllah. I had realised that I had grown less sensitive to everything occurring around me. Somehow this was normal. And that’s when it shocked me. That I’m actually okay with all these atrocities happening. I feel so helpless and powerless.

  3. Beautifully written.Thoughts which so many of us share. All of what i am always thinking about and worried about is in your post.

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