A single question that is helping me change my perspective

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It’s a human tendency to take life for granted. I know this and you know it too. But why do we do it? Why do we take our family, friends, health, etc for granted? Why do we often miss out on acting in much better ways even though we ‘know’ nothing lasts forever?

Bertrand Russell, a British philosopher, essayist, logician and a social critic aptly said once, “In all affairs, it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” Quite honestly, I haven’t make a list of all the things I take for granted in my life (probably it’s LIFE in general that I sometimes take for granted just like any other person) but I have come to a realisation that yes, indeed we don’t value our lives the way we should. I believe the pandemic is teaching us a lot in this domain.

Coming back to the question of why we take things in life for granted, psychology has some answers. Human beings are naturally inclined to ‘novelty’. It’s in our evolutionary history. Life, relationships, health seems like permanent. We think they have been there for a very long time and will stay with us for ‘always’. All this doesn’t feel novel or new so we don’t pay much attention. Until something big happens. The pandemic is giving us many examples. We are seeing with our own eyes that a single hour is enough to change our or the lives of our loved ones completely and forever. For many the wounds are never going to heal but others will forget everything and continue living their lives the way they had been living prior to the pandemic.

Isn’t it the perfect time to change that? After all, the losses are irreversible.

Only a couple days back I was pondering upon the same thought and something crossed my mind. It was nothing but a simple, single question. I have lost a very close relative to COVID-19. While reflecting back upon my own life I reminded myself how lucky I am. Quite frankly, I am very grateful of my life each day. Trying to keep myself in my cousin’s shoes I asked myself a question:

“HOW MUCH WOULD YOUR COUSIN BE WILLING TO PAY JUST TO HAVE A 5 MINUTE CONVERSATION WITH THE PERSON SHE HAS LOST?”

Without a doubt: A LOT!! Yes, my cousin would be willing to pay a lot. The cost will be very very high. Doesn’t that change your perspective, even a little bit? It changed mine. That question strikes me hard enough to pause for a moment and think things over again. Now, I am not saying I have become all perfect and will never take people in my life for granted. I am a human after all. I am conditioned to make mistakes. Nevertheless, I am going to try to never stop asking myself that question. It will keep me in check, I am sure.

Decoding Myself- Impermanence v/s Inevitability

Picture credits: Deviant Art

We fear death. We fear we won’t be there anymore in the future. We fear we will have no knowledge of our own experiences & memories and how the world’s gonna keep going on without us.

We crave for life. We crave for more breaths so that we can enjoy what life has to offer. It doesn’t make sense, does it? Wanting more of life and no death even though we know life is temporary and death inevitable?


Why? I don’t understand why we do this.

How’s life any better?

It’s full of challenges, atrocities, betrayals and disappointments. We have ‘one life‘ but we can never afford to live it on our own terms. There’s people we have to think of.

Friends. Family. Colleagues. Teachers. And many more.

We have to think of them before making a decision about anything and everything. We may say we don’t get influenced by anyone, we may say we do what we want to do, we may say we are the captain of our own ships. But let’s be honest. It’s not true.

Yes, in life we make many decisions by listening to our own selves. Just our selves. But it doesn’t happen all the time. It is rude and inhumane to only think of ourselves all the time. Our choices are not as independent as we think they are. It’s pretty messed up, right? Then why do we crave for life?

At least death puts an end to all of this drama.

In life, we often fail. We get success as well, no doubt. But failure never misses any opportunity to give us some company for some time. We lose loved ones while we are alive. That’s like so unfair and life doesn’t seem to care. There’s politics. There’s violence and chaos. There’s jealousy, envy. All of this to live with in just one Life. One so-called life. How is life any better than death? Death is saddening.

Who says life isn’t it?


Maybe we are greedy when it comes to experiences. Probably that’s why we gather so much of courage to stand against what life has to offer.