I must begin by apologising for my rude behaviour, that is, not posting on Friday. I have a list of excuses but I’ll only say one: I was tired. I am human. I am sorry. Now enough of the melodrama, and on to Sunday’s post which will be a ramble/reflection: Why do we keep going?
I watched the latest 007 film on Saturday (and if you have not, I recommend that you do. It’s very good.) Since I watched that film in the cinema, I’ve been thinking about one of its main themes: what is it that keeps us going? Why does Bond, a grizzled old agent, take up his mantle once again and push on despite injury and fatigue? Why doesn’t he give in?
Why don’t we give in as people? If you’re reading this on the Internet, it’s impossible for you not to have heard the story of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who did not give in to the demands of the Taliban. She was threatened, her family was threatened, and she did not give in. She has now been shot, but still she has not given in. Is that human nature, to keep going? Or is it instead human to give in? To give in to life’s pressures, to give in to sloth and greed and the “easy” route, to hang ourselves in that noose before we push through hell, come what may?
It seems to me that the Western world has a sort-of “give-in” mentality, nowadays. We always want the quickest, easiest way of achieving our goals. It’s a disappointingly-often occurrence to hear of that person found dead in their home; that parent who has mindlessly murdered their children and then killed themselves. Our youth do not know how to discuss their problems and this quite often results in them ending their lives. A friend I had in high school did not know how to talk about her problems, and she attempted suicide twice before she got any help. Talking, living, was the harder option, and so it was not her first choice. On the other end, there’s my mother. She raised me and my siblings for the most part as a single mother, although she’s now been remarried for about three or four years. Things were hard for her. Poor-paying jobs, a family which shunned her, three bawling children, depression–there were days when she got absolutely sick of it all. But she kept on going. Even when she didn’t know where our next meal would come from, she kept on going. Perhaps it was her religious faith, or her faith in her children, or her nature. Or just human nature. I don’t know. I only know that she kept going. That my friend, with help, has also kept on going.
We all have our problems. Sometimes we give in, sometimes we don’t. We can keep going in a case as serious as Malala’s, or one as comparatively trivial as NaNoWriMo. A lot of the time, I suppose we don’t really know why we keep on going. We just have no reason to turn back, to stop. So we’ll just keep going, on and on, until we wake up one morning when our hair’s grey and ask ourself why we’re still going. And then maybe we’ll be wise enough by then to realise how useless that question is, that not everything has an answer, and we’ll keep on going.