April 20, 2006

Two Roads

There’s this TV series named "Just Cause" which has a theme song named "Two Trains" which is about somebody faced with two different options but can take only one. Like that, the journey of life seems to be full of branches in the road where you can take the easy road or the hard road.

When I was younger, I used to take the easy road. I would lie, I would steal (or borrow), I would do whatever it took so that life would be easy. As I grew older and began to look at the world around me and to understand things and to really learn about God, I came to realize that this really wasn’t the way to live life. That above all, you had to be true to yourself and deal with others as you would want to be dealt with in turn. I changed myself and began taking the harder road.

And often it turns out, that it indeed is a hard road to travel. You would think that telling the truth and dealing honestly with people is the easy thing to to do. There are no stories to keep straight, there are no lies to remember, there are no people to avoid. But boy, the problem is people. They just don’t want to seem to hear the truth. Or to deal with it. In fact, it looks as if most people are content to just deal in lies (or at least not be totally honest) because it makes life easier.

Today, we reward people for taking the easy road. You get a politician lying about his past, we dismiss it as "Oh, that’s natural in politics" and elect him to office. If they lie about their opponent, we just call it "mud slinging" and move on. If they take a bribe, we just nod sagely and say "This is what politics has come to" but we keep voting for them anyway.

But politics is not the only place this happens. In our own lives (at leave over here), we don’t tell others if something they did bothers us. We keep it bottled up and pretend everything is fine but show our irritation through little actions. The other person doesn’t know what is going on, misunderstands our actions and gets angry at you but they doesn’t say what is bothering them either because there is nothing concrete to point to – it’s all innuendo and suspicions. If you try to burst the bubble of mistrust and hatred by speaking out, you get shushed to silence because nobody wants the status quo disrupted.

How exactly have we arrived at this point in time? When did we decide that it was easier to go with the flow than to stand up for what is right? All of the religions in the world say that lying is wrong and that you should be honest in your dealing with others. But that is probably the commandment that we break the most often. We lie outright, for no reason or just to win an argument or to win a competition or to discredit somebody else or to … you pick the reason. But why do we have to be that way? Why can’t we take the harder road?

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Posted by Fahim at 6:21 am  |  No Comments