It was two in the morning, and I had typed hi to an old acquaintance over Facebook. I was asked in return on how I’ve been doing. My response was that I’m not complaining, and that I’m learning to be more appreciative of what I have. As I stopped browsing my phone, finished my meal, and headed out of the place, I reached into my pocket and found a serviette which was given to me earlier. It felt rather warm to put it over my mouth. A certain kind of comfort.
It reminded me of this video that I had watched of an orang utan that was shackled and caged it’s entire life. All that it had was a small piece of cloth that it held on to in it’s palm for that little comfort that it could afford. That is all there is to give any meaning to it’s existence. Completely trapped and all alone as the days go by. One small piece of cloth.
An ethical question that I often ponder and debate about is the extent of how I am serving humanity. What I’ve learned from working, doing business, and generally learning about the aspirations of others is that it is never enough. There is never enough money in the bank, or the luxuries and comfort in life. Ask a person who engages in corrupt practices on why he or she is willing to put others at a disadvantage for personal gains, and listen to him or her legitimize such actions on the basis of survival or needs, even if it’s in excess of millions or billions of ringgit.
As much as I would like to make personal gains for my own comfort, it is very difficult to not feel morally responsible in finding a meaningful and helpful way of making such gains while serving humanity at the same time.
As I reached to the front of my home, I decided to take a walk. I had almost forgotten what it felt like to take a walk just for the sake of walking. Just sitting and just walking was a major component of my personal healing some years back, and it felt so familiar and so soothing. I remember learning through those periods of healing that in order for the world to be a better place, it starts with being a better self.
As I write this, it becomes clear to me that no matter how strongly I believe that I do not have enough, it is a way of thinking that will not go away even if I am living in excess. It is a projection of an instinctual human desire that is unquenchable. And it seems to me that the only way to ever make any progress beyond this self-serving instinct is to always be in touch with my humanity in the present moment.