By Gitanjali Marcelline
“The fish dwell in the depths of the water, and eagles in the sides of heaven; the one high maybe reached with the arrow, and the other, though deep, with the hook, but the heart of a man. At a foot’s distance, cannot be known” – Burmese scroll
The Burmese adage shines a light on my life, where what goes as “creature comforts” can neither usher me into the depths of consciousness nor alleviate grief and allay doubts. I contemplate on this today to mirror my own derelictions and foibles and reflect on the vagaries of nature.
Among the hundred things I ponder is misjudgment of people. As the saying goes: “The heart of a man is an opaque complex unit. We hear its throb, but we never know what it truly conveys.”
Misjudgment about matters knocks the flow of my thinking, erases my dreams. It messes up my worthwhile schemes as I tend to stop what I ought to be doing thinking what other people might say. I sway to their music in order to fit in with them even if I despise them.
Negative traits such as jealousy, pride, prejudice and misjudgment may not be physically detrimental but could cause grave mental agony. How true it is that our actions often mislead other people? Words that come out of us may be deceptive. We fabricate something wry or inviting, yet deep down we really never meant it. We could flash a ringing laughter outside, yet our hearts may be bleeding inside. I could say ‘no’ to someone when I really mean ‘yes’.
Life is fraught with danger. Earthquakes and storms are only some of the tangible manifestations of danger which we experience willy nilly. But the perils of our existence cannot be attributed only to natural occurrences. What is regarded as dangerous to our existence can also be man-made, executed by humans, against humans, and endured by humans.
We are tormented by human rights deprivation, rape, abortion, disease transmitted from man to man like SARS, H5N1, Avian Influenza, Ebola, MERS and now COVID-19. To date, there has been no medical breakthrough to halt their advancement. We are subjected to accidents, fires, oil spills, marine pollution, soil pollution, environmental degradation and many more. But these are also products of human endeavour undertaken in the name of development.
The Bible prophesied this, as in the Gospel according to Peter 3:10-13: “ but the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up”.
Reference is also made to famines in Isiah 8:21-22 “and they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry; and it shall come to pass that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves and curse their king and their god and look upward”.
But there is refuge for those who believe in God. To quote Psalm 91 :“He who dwells in the shelter of the most high will abide in the shadow of the almighty. I will say to the Lord my refuge, my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. For he will deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence”
May you and I find peace of mind, always!