Institutionalise

Our times oblige us to focus on too many a thing our mind and body cannot cope with. We want to do, to be, everything that we can. We want to be like our idols, our heroes, and those we admire. We want to change, and to bring about change. Yet, something always beats our ever growing ambitions, laps every one of us, time and time again. And we see our rival everyday, from the moment we open our eyes to the moment they shut back closed, wondering if they will be opened once more. What mightier a foe than that which controls our very pulse and breaths, and marks our births and deaths?

Time. The clock is inanimate, but its hands are forever on the move.

Humans are therefore inherently weak, not even able to surmount their own selves, let alone their surroundings. Their shell is a soft tissue, penetrable to the slightest stone or needle. Their hearts are a malleable muscle that drives a light liquid to the material body and mind, and drives emotions to the spirit. Be the mind a mountain, then the emotions are a waterfall, flowing down the easiest route and clinging onto straws and dirt for colour and substance. Why were we made so weak? That a single blow stuck to a vital point can send us to below our feet, that a single word can change our lives, that a single experience once experienced can set the course of our lives. At the same time, how were we made so strong? That a single voice can move the hearts of thousands, and a pebble tossed by hand can set in motion an avalanche that when begun, does not think twice about destroying a house or burying an entire forest,

What is the difference, then, between weak and strong? Are we debilitated by our surroundings, or do we surmount them?

The answer, I think, lies outside of the individual, of emotion, talent, or intelligence. It lies, rather, in the collective. What better a rope to tie a man with than that of guilt or shame? What better food for the heart than promises of gold and fame? A single shriek may set us on our tows for a day, but the angry horn of mob united in heart and soil – yes soil – speaks within a people for the rest of their days.

Why not, then, use this powerful weapon for good, as surely it can be for evil. Become a leader of others, before yourself, for indeed, that is what gives you the power to change yourself, before others.

References:

A man once famed for his impeccable manners was asked how he had come to obtain them. He replied, traveling obliged me to meet people, those of their manners I admired, I followed, and those which I disliked, I avoided.

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