Comfortable Answers

Sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed by the few responsibilities life sends my way, I like to sit down and talk to myself. My heart beats on a slow pace and the noise that forever buzzes around us gradually dies down. I tune out of the hectic street atmosphere and into my soul. Being that it is the external that we spend the majority of our time with, our inner self remains almost unadulterated and hence infant-like pure.

I walk around and admire the spectacular view. The conscience, the spirit, the root of all emotions and feelings, the ways the body and soul connect and interact. I can see my faultiness beside my virtues, the source of my struggles and the strengths that help me triumph them, they all work in harmony like a perfectly woven tapestry blended of many colors and shades. Suddenly, out of the silence I hear a desperate voice echoing from far away, not distant spatially rather emotionally. It asks me: Why do you live? Why the way you live? What is driving you? What is the purpose? Problems that have been shoved under the rug for decades come to life. I visualize this voice to be like a child abandoned at the fair. No one has the time or patience to pay any attention to him or his plea; everyone is just minding their business. Occasionally one man will look back and realize that it’s not what he was looking for and continue on his busy schedule.

Out of curiosity and maybe even pity, I approach this lost boy to ask him what he might need. His heart hungers for attention and his eyes demand answers. His presence makes me feel unsettled; he doubts everything I stand for, all my beliefs and anything I was ever taught. What once seemed solid is shaking in the wind, what yesterday felt secure is now at danger of collapsing. I feel scared and lonely in his company. Nonetheless, I gain courage and offer some insight to clarify my position and perhaps defend my foundation. “Tell me my friend,” I inquire, “don’t you think anyone has the solution to your problems? In fact I can recall some sources that address questions like yours extensively, and they propose various different answers on these subjects. Even if you don’t accept one I’m sure you’ll appreciate the other!”

A smirk forms on his face and his eyes twinkle. “How much is two plus two?” He asks. Four, I answer confidently. “Don’t you have more answers?” A little flustered I think loudly, how can there be different answers, mathematically it can surely only be four. “That’s not true!” He retorts. “You can say ‘more than three’ wouldn’t that be correct?” Of course, I reply, but then I can say ‘less than five’ or ‘an even number’ and so on. “So what is the problem with that? You should be satisfied; you have many different solutions to a basic problem.” Perplexed, I wait for him to finish his thought; I’m not sure where he’s going with this. “Obviously, there is only one self-evident explanation to an honest question, if there’s more than one it would indicate that it is a fraud or in the best case only partially true!”

As our conversation evolved, I no longer felt threatened by his presence or intimidated by his doubts, I knew he is pursuing the truth. But something cynical and distrustful about him bothered me, so I asked: if your loved one would be lost in the forest at nightfall, wouldn’t you trust anyone helpful even ignorant children with directions, to save whom you care about? He was silent, taken aback, and then with a heavy sigh replied: “if the first ten children gave me contradicting and opposite directions, I would come to the conclusion that the kids in this neighborhood are pranksters. I should probably trust my intuition, for I don’t have the time to wander in the dark. And with that he gets up and leaves.

But why would they do that to you? I scream in his direction. He turns around, his face ablaze, his eyes bloodshot and murmurs under his breath; because to lazy people it feels better when I’m out of the way…

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