My roommate thinks I have a casual attitude towards death. I’d like to think that isn’t true. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. On the surface, it might be true. I will admit that I do not avoid thinking about death. A lot of times, the thought of people dying doesn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth. It doesn’t make me sad, it doesn’t affect my current mood. Generally, death doesn’t fill me with dread as it does most people. Is this something I’m proud of? No. Am I ashamed of it? Honestly, no. it just is. I think over time, I have managed to convince myself to be indifferent to things that are beyond my control. So maybe that may be interpreted as having a casual attitude towards death. But that doesn’t mean I do not care about death. I just seem to not care. I think I care way more than I will ever be to fully grasp, let alone admit. So maybe that manifests as a casual attitude, or horrifying indifference and misplaced laughter. Maybe. Or maybe I’m just a horrible person. Or maybe it is both. I don’t know and to be honest, I do not know where I am going with this. So hang on, or don’t, I don’t think I care much.
I have this belief, that all human beings are potential killers. We all have a breaking point, a button that can be pushed and make us kill. I also believe that how we are raised and how we are conditioned over time is what makes the difference between guys who kill and those who don’t. I will admit, I have no psychological evidence to support this theory and I am open to corrections. As a matter fact, I hope to all that is moral and sacred, that I am grossly wrong about this. I want to believe that killers are born that way. I know, it doesn’t make the world any safer, but hey, a few serial killers is contextually better than a potential seven billion serial killers. Again, I’m hoping serial killers is a Hollywood fiction. I mean, I understand that serial killers do exist in real life, I just don’t want to believe that they are as prolific and scheming and clever as television shows make it seem. Even so, I haven’t been able to get this theory out of my mind these last few days. Particularly, I haven’t been able to stop myself from worrying about my seemingly casual attitude towards death. A statement that was said in passing has managed to lodge itself into my brain and make me question everything about my humanity.
Just how human am I? And while we are at it, on what scale is humanity measured? But even more importantly, how human do I want to be? Am I comfortable with the cliché standards of humanity? You know, is it enough for me to just be bothered by wars and hunger and excruciating poverty levels? Is it enough that every once in a while I donate my old clothes to orphans and drop a coin or two to the beggar on the street? Why do I even do it? Is it because I actually care? Or is it because I don’t have much use for my old clothes or the few extra coins? Am I kind? Am I empathetic? Why do I have a morbid sense of humour? Why does death not rattle me as much as it does others? Can I take a life? Would it be a leap to think that if I have managed to convince myself to not be somewhat indifferent towards death, then it is only a matter of time before I convince myself it is okay to cause it? Is it a valid worry? Why am I seemingly indifferent towards death? Is it because I can’t deal with it, so I just brush it off? Or is it because I actually don’t care? And if the most permanent form of loss, doesn’t scare me much, then how can I tell that my humane emotions are genuine? Do I feel because I have been conditioned to feel or because I am actually human? Have my emotions become routine? Is that what my humanity has become? Some sort of garment that I wear every morning? When I am descent, or even nice, is it because I am kind, or am I only acting on ingrained tendencies? Is my humanity on some sort of auto-pilot or is it a conscious decision? Is it all just a game? Am I aware that I am playing it?
Is our humanity supposed to be a conscious decision? Are we supposed to be aware of it when we are being human? Do we get accustomed to pain and cruelty over time? Do we stop to care about injustice? Do we resign ourselves to the fact that the world is rotten and there isn’t much we can do to save it? And when that happens, have we lost a bit of our humanity? Do we lose our humanity every single time we are not as human as we could be? Is it possible for our humanity to be completely corroded? Is that all we’ve become? Shells masquerading as human beings, slowly dying? Really, why am I so worried about this? Is it an overreaction to a less than accurate observation? Or is it because deep down I know I have lost a bit of my humanity. Because not so long ago, I fiercely wanted to help people. Street children and natural disasters upset me to the point of tears. Right now? I think television shows about serial killers are funny. I would like to think it is because I have grown up and somehow managed to handle my emotions. And maybe that is partly true. But I am also still emotional as ever, albeit most of it is rage and irritability. Maybe that is why I feel so lost. I have lost a bit of myself. And maybe I just miss caring about other people. Random people on the street. People that I don’t have to care about. People that aren’t my family and friends. People who don’t have to reciprocate that care. Maybe I just miss who I was, and I gotta say, it is a little scary and embarrassing and rage inducing, that I don’t really care to do the work to get her back.