SURAJ SHARMA / スラージ シャルマ

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Mea Culpa

It is a little early in the year for a mea culpa, but what the hell. It’s the season for apologies anyway, and I’m overcome with remorse.

I’m sorry that this happened. I never meant to stick out like a sore thumb. I never wanted to be the reason for anyone’s insomnia.

I realise now that in my naïvete and idealism, I ignored the practical virtues of life. These virtues, when looked at from my idealistic/naïve perspective, seemed like vices to avoid and I ended up losing the balance necessary for a healthy human existence.

This imbalance, coupled with a giant ego and mental defence mechanisms, created a positive feedback loop that egged me on to express my “creative destruction” in various ways, much to the chagrin of others. Others, who had, through trials and tribulations of their own, come to a hard-earned, delicate balance of acceptance between themselves and the world around them. I upset this balance, unnkowingly.

My crime was not that I am unique, it was that I didn’t handle my uniqueness in a creative manner, for that, I remain eternally sorry.

My impatience, my eagerness to escape, my desire for the extraordinary, what were these if not symptoms of an ego gone out of control? What did they deserve if not the torture they invited?

As someone who does believe that we live in the best of all possible worlds, my ironic dissatisfaction with the world came from an inability to accept myself. So loud was my rejection of my own humanity that a lot of people had to intervene to set things straight.

If social change was my agenda, my plan wasn’t paced right. If self-expression was my desire, I did not put in the hard work to fulfill it.

I’m no hero, nor a villain. I’m just a creative, confused guy who short-circuited systems and ended up giving himself the shock of his life. There are those who will probably see even this admission of guilt as virtue-signalling, but I have no reasons to do so.

This isn’t to say that I was wrong in believing what I did, just that I didn’t have ALL the beliefs necessary for a balanced life. For example: I believed in the human capacity for spontaneous co-operation, but had no idea of our ability to create irrational exuberance that can drive us wild.

I understand now that being human involves an acceptance of the human condition far greater than I previously thought necessary. Trapped in my ivory tower, I perhaps could never have figured this out if it wasn’t for the menacing spectre I unleashed.

I used to pride myself in my understanding of the human condition, and used to think that with a lot of kindness and empathy, I can fix things. I now realise how half-assed my understanding of the human condition was, how hollow my own acceptance of things.

Luckily, with the help of parents, friends, and teachers, I’m well on my way to near-total recovery.

I am determined to see things differently, and with this experience behind me, I know I will find the balance needed. I’m already witnessing changes in superficial things about me like my attitude, but even at a deeper level, I am sensing a great change coming on. A change in values, in priorities, in perceptions, habits of thought and action, and perhaps even in moral nuances.

I look forward to this greater entanglement between me and my surroundings because instead of running away from my punishment, I am now running towards it.