Life in Integers!
Looking around myself, looking at various kinds of lives that people lead, I always caught myself questioning God’s justice. A kid born with a silver spoon and a kid born on streets, a child being fed the best meals in the world’s best restaurant and other dying of malnutrition, a kid going to the most elite school and the other crying for even a pencil, a boy soundly sleeping in confines of an air-conditioned bedroom and other fighting for life in Africa as a kid soldier, a girl enjoying life to the fullest with all the riches one could find and the other trying to find a safe place to hide from the rapists desperately and angrily chasing her; a couple working day and night to feed the family and other being able to leave inheritance for the next five generations to come, an old lady satisfied having seen 3 of her generations and other one dying without having had a child of her own to love; how can that be justice? Where is the God who promised justice? How it is that one person has his glass full and other has a broken glass?
And then finally when there seemed to be no answers, I quit thinking because if I continued thinking, I would have started doubting my faith and I just couldn’t afford to let that happen. For now I can at least rest my head telling it to leave it all up to God but if I lost faith, what will I tell my head when it asks such complicated questions?
So finally the questions weren’t asked anymore and I told my head to just go with the flow whenever it even started to open it’s invisible mouth.
But one fine day, while having a most random conversation with an old friend, I somehow found logic that I was looking for since I was born (realistically since I started thinking, seeing and questioning so probably when I was between 6 to 8 years old). All through the rickshaw ride, I kept thinking how it all made so much sense and then I thought of writing it all up and titled it as it is right now.
So here goes the theory…
Everyone in life starts off at zero. By starting off I mean when a child is born. It is the exact same zero that’s right in center of an integer line. Once we start off, everything we go through in life either increases or decreases our happiness. There is no sadness. Sadness is basically the absence of happiness (This thought came from a pre-existing notion that there is no darkness, darkness is just the absence of light). So our life is like an integer line starting off at zero and with numbers in positive and negatives up to infinity.
So when we attain something that increases our happiness, we climb up towards positivity on the integer line. When we face a situation which we do not like or want, it decreases our happiness and so we move down on the integer line towards negativity. The number by which we climb up or down depends on the amount of happiness we receive or loose but when our life ends, we all end on a zero again on that very scale taking with us only the good and bad we did to attain that happiness.
A difficult concept and logic to understand and we can definitely do with an example here. Two babies are born on the same day, same time but in completely different circumstances. Child A born to a rich family, in the care of best doctors and nurses at the best hospital and in the best circumstances but on the other hand we have child B born to poor parents on streets and presently both are at zero on the integer scale. Both the kids get fed and move up by one point on integer scale. One fine day, child A’s caretaker forgets to feed him and the kid moves down by one point and so does child B because his mother doesn’t have anything to feed him. Child A gets a huge truck to play with and moves up by 2 points and child B finds a five rupee note on the ground and moves up on the scale by the same amount and so on and so forth. The logic that keeps the number or amount of increase or decrease in happiness is almost similar for both and depends on the fact that what is easily available to us doesn’t increase our happiness and if we haven’t seen something then not having it will not decrease our happiness.
To a neutral person looking at both of these children, life would look unfair. But the amount of happiness these children attain is the same; although material means are poles apart. One might say that when the child grows up, sees more and knows more, this difference might decrease happiness of Child B who is not privileged. But he/she will have other means that will increase his/her happiness by double but won’t be of any value to Child A because of easy availability-less valuable notion. Examples of such attainments might be the situations which will be first times for child B such as buying something from an expensive shop in a mall, eating out at a restaurant etc. Although these situations sound material but have an emotional attachment when you have had to work too hard for it. Similarly for child A, the reasons of happiness could be different but amount of increase or decrease in the happiness will probably be the same. So in the end everything evens out. You start off at zero and end at zero. When you are already too happy and are getting everything in life, the marginal utility decreases and every additional increase in happiness is lesser than the last increase because we get used to being happy. And similarly when our happiness is continuously decreasing then every next decrease is lesser compared to the previous decrease because we learn to tolerate. But we learn to fight and start trying to get out of that negative zone. If something is decreasing our happiness, we find something else eventually that increases our happiness. Gradually when we are about to die, if we are not satisfied with our life, and exist in the negative zone on the integer scale then we correct our mistakes or find other things that would satisfy us and make us happy. And if we are way up on the integer scale and are too happy with our life then the fear of death sort of scares us and we move down and get to zero until we are just satisfied.
Okay, I just made that up but I think it does make sense because if you are so happy in life, why would you be okay with dying and if you are not okay with dying and you feel death is close, then your happiness will decrease.
And let’s say, even if we are happy and nothing decreases our happiness, it’s still good, right? May be God thought you have done so much of good in life that the reward increases the limit of what he can give you after you die so he decided to let you be up on the integer scale here in this world only!