SELF

ZOOMER Magazine - - LOVE - by Shi­nan Go­vani

ONE OF THE in­ex­orable things about get­ting older is that even though our lives get nar­rower – and, of­ten, our op­por­tu­ni­ties – is that our worlds ac­tu­ally get roomier, more elas­tic. Sim­ply put: the no­tion of self is more self- ish.

When we are younger, we are, more of­ten than not, bul­let trains with room for one. Our ex­pe­ri­ences more vivid and our emo­tions more un­reg­u­lated, we may move around with the phan­tasm of every­thing hap­pen­ing to us as if it be­ing the first thing in the his­tory of the world that has, like, ever hap­pened. We may also give way too much au­thor­ship to our own lives, when in ac­tu­al­ity so much of what hap­pens to is due to hap­pen­stance and/or what we ab­sorb from oth­ers. In the broader sense, it is as the great Os­car Wilde once tough-loved, “Most peo­ple are other peo­ple. Their thoughts are some­one else’s opin­ions, their lives a mimicry, their pas­sions a quo­ta­tion.”

There is re­lief in that Wildean con­ceit, not just mi­nor tragedy. It is the knowl­edge – paired with the self­knowl­edge that hope­fully comes with hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced more pain and loss as you age and hav­ing been knocked around a lit­tle by life – that we are more con­nected than we may have ever thought. And in­flu­enced. That the But­ter­fly Ef­fect, as it were, goes back to the rock for­ma­tions set by all the lives that came be­fore you, and those that came be­fore them. That, in the tra­jec­tory of our own ex­is­tences now, we are far from in­di­vid­ual moated is­land-na­tions – po­lit­i­cally, for ex­am­ple, on a macro scale, how the hand in one na­tion can in­flu­ence the lives of many in another, as can the en­vi­ron­men­tal reach in one corner of the world send rip­ples else­where.

Long be­fore the term “go­ing vi­ral” was a thing, our lives in­evitably al­ways were.

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