I only pray that if you are a thief, plunder and pilfer anything you want but don’t steal lives, don’t rob dreams and don’t take away somebody’s reason to smile. This thieving will leave wounds for you and the victim, which time doesn’t heal but love does. You might be whoever you are but don’t be the consorts of death. Life is meant to be lived, not to be spent stealing others’.
Words can move you. They are potent and powerful. The beauty of beautifully written words is that they evoke a running visual imagery, giving your senses a heightened vicarious experience and if you can feel the throbbing emotion of that literal moment, it might overwhelm you enough to write a few words of your own. So while absorbing Markus Suzak’s The Book Thief, I couldn’t help not thinking about the Life Thieves. And thus I wrote…
Why did we corrupt ourselves so egregiously and so viciously that it defeats the very purpose of our existence? When life could simply be about the simplest of joys… of being with your loved ones… who on earth gave these fellow humans the right to snatch it away from us so blatantly? Ever since history has been recorded we have these thieves of lives and happiness. Countries are bombed. Populations are maimed. People are left alone. And those left behind are desperate to be carried upon the shoulders of death. This has been our distraught dysfunctional world forever.
The stories in the newspapers aren’t really stories. They are reports and statistics on human worthlessness. But when you read a real one… A story of loss… of the numbing pain of losing your loved one… of the repressed agony of losing an irreplaceable best friend… of the vacuum grief of losing everything you built your dreams upon… it will tug at your heart. It will scorch your soul with abhorrence and leave you breathless. Mocking at your good fortune, it will question you that how come when every part of the world is being proudly ravaged, looted and threatened, you are in a safe zone, alive and reading about others.
At 36,000ft above sea level when I am typing this and I look out of the window a blue and white horizon meets me in the eye. It is beautiful and reminds me that I love my life. But next moment, with a pounding heart I wonder what if my flight is hijacked? What if there is a conspiracy planned against this aircraft? What if this carrier never lands and I don’t make it to the crazy family get-together I am going for? What if I never make it back home where I promised my kids to return in three days? What if I never get to hug my husband again? Yeah natural calamities happen, accidents happen, people do die… it worries me but does not unnerve me. It is the fear of those lurking thugs, those robbers who come to steal my life, my time, my happiness before it’s my time. No, they don’t have the right to do it. Nobody has it. You cannot cut short my journey. And what frustrates me is that I do not even know the identity of these thieves. Are they politicians, warlords, national leaders, religious demagogues? Who the hell are they?
As a lay person, I cannot comprehend the vastly and intensely divided world that we cohabit because funnily the majority of the people are not on any side. There is a small concentrated population who genuinely talks about love, humanity, compassion and spirituality. There is a bigger concentrated population who fanatically talks about wars, religious supremacy, power, and conquests. And then we are left with a mammoth chunk of people who aren’t talking about anything. They are nonchalant. Indifferent. But the gut-thrashing episodes, without so much as going beyond the last century, of Jewish Genocide, bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, detentions at Guantanamo Bay, disruption of Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, savagery of Boko Haram and uncountable episodes of most horrific and basal human instincts, leaves the indifference somewhat shaken. It stirs and shrinks the joyous vibe within you momentarily. When you empathize with those who are robbed untimely, unnecessarily and unknowingly, it swells your heart with an unmistakable burden of injustice.
How dumb it is that a lot of them lose their lives in the cause of wars and more as victims of it. But nothing happens to those hungry fanatics waging it. In fact the world goes about its dysfunctional, anarchist and abnormal ways as always. What purpose does it serve to rampage lives? I mean, you want to hoard wealth, land, weapons, etc to give you an illusionary sense of power. So you go and wrongly grab what rightfully belongs to others. Alright. But the barbaric dealing of lives is something else altogether. Or maybe they do have a purpose after all, once the physical lives are gone, these unabashed thieves colonize and own the psychological lives of those left. And the arrogance of owning people can be wantonly and wickedly rousing. It saddens me deeply that human lives have been commoditized so worthlessly to mere numbers in this totally insane thievery.
However, what flabbergasts me more is that intelligent men and women choose to wage and join these wars. I wonder what if people refuse to be recruited to fight wars; what if there are no armies of any kind at all. Yeah, they say they have their reasons to fight. But does anybody really have a right or reason to murder the other when there’s not even a personal vendetta involved. I am not a saint. I lie, I wrong, I hurt, I curse but I do not kill. I haven’t left an orphan somewhere with stifled sobs. I haven’t left a hollow eyed widow staring at a photo frame. I haven’t left a parent waiting at the window with cremated dreams.