How Life Has Changed Over 50 Years


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Why are we so excited about life and yet we know so little about it. Always wanting to preserve and protect it with everything we’ve got, we even enshrined it in our constitution and made it a right that must be observed by both individuals and governments and yet we don’t understand the mystery that lurks in it’s shadows. I don’t seem to know better than you reading this, ain’t we all it’s student who’s trying to figure out the gift we’ve been bestowed.

What in itself is life? Is it the air in our lungs, our consciousness or sense of being? Is it our daily accumulation of experiences or the wealth of it and why is it considered a gift when we hardly understand what exactly it is? Different scholars would answer these questions from their wealth of experiences, perceptions or years of studies and I wouldn’t consider myself one rather I’ll refer to myself as an armchair philosopher who’s allowed his philosophy to be shaped by his perceptions birthed by experience.

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Therefore before I go further, I would like to state here that there is is no objective reality, rather what we have are reality that are subjective to each individuals and shaped by their experiences and the internal processing of that experience to create a reality that is unique and peculiar to an individual or a group and these group/individual reality might sound absurd to another persons or groups while other persons or group might find it easy to understand and align with. Reason for this is to prepare your mind for my own reality which might be different from what you’re used to and one of the beauty about life they say is the opportunity to have divergent veiws that Sparks debates and gets us talking.

I’m fascinated about this thing called life. The little origin story of life points it to God Almighty when He formed man and then breathes the breathe of life through his nostrils and man came alive these somewhat religious theory held sway for generations until scientists began romanticizing on the thoery and what we have generations later, starting with Charles Darwin was more of a controversial thoery that points to life’s evolving from an abysmal chaotic explosion of an atom that has taken millions of years to reach perfection and is still evolving. This article is not to dwell on the ‘chicken and egg’ side of the arguments that leads to an endless debate but rather try to understand Life from my biased perspective that has been shaped by my reality.

If life occured by just a mere breathe through man’s nostrils, it’s best to then ask, to what end? Why give a yet to be conscious being a gift without his consent and while he bacame conscious if he decides he doesn’t want the gift in the first place and he decides to return it, why blame or condem him to eternal damnation? The religious believe man’s created to serve the purpose of God and to fulfill His every desires (pawn). The scientist believes that since life occured from years of evolutionary biological journey, the purpose is whatever the individuals deem to be their purpose and these is what John Lock said necessitated ‘The Social Contract’ that seeks to create a balance for the weak and strong, young and old. Either religious or scientific beliefs non addresses the question of Suicide sufficiently.

What then is life? To me, life is the sum total of our consciousness, hope and aspirations rather than mere existence. Existence can be liken to breathe deviod of consciousness, hopes and aspirations, so merely having breathe doesn’t qualify ones has having life but rather existing. A person in a coma may be said to have breathe but not consciousness nor hopes and aspirations. This then begs the question of ‘do babies have life’? Well, babies are alive with breathe in them and also are conscious of their environment to some extent (they respond to external and internal stimuli overtly) but they certainly lack hopes and aspirations. Projected hopes and aspirations aren’t the same as mhthe one bourne and conceived by the conscious recipient. Also animals either in the wild or domesticated has breathe and consciousness but lack the capacity to form their own hopes and aspirations, these is what differentiates humans as a species from every other animals. Some might argue that there are insects (ants & termites) and animals (Apes) that has developed a complex form consciousness that’s not far from the type humans exhibit so can we then refer to them as having Life? I’ll address this in the next paragraph.

Consciousness can be defined as the environmental and Social awereness of a person or animal. It’s also being able to take in information both environmentally and socially that might produce a corresponding effect, either an overt or covert responses as the situation demands. Animals with complex consciousness like Ants and Apes with the capacity to anticipate future event and then make adequate plans for it, can not be said to have hopes and aspirations and therefore not Life. Hope is the ability to imagine a possible future that might or isn’t environmentally or socially determined and Aspirations are the longings of our heart. At least as far as the researches that had been conducted in the area of animal’s social environment, non has been discovered to have these.

Life and existence can be misconstrued to mean same but the truth is they both are separate words having different meanings.

A person can exist without having Life and the same person can not have life without having to exist. A person in a state of Coma can be said to have breathe but not consciousness, hopes and aspirations even if the person has everything before entering the state of Coma. In that state the person is lacking of life but still existing. If we take it a little further to a person in the state of dementia (critical) that has lost the ability to process information (in/out) yet conscious but lacks the other two (hopes and aspirations) is also as good as existing because for a person to have Life, they’ve to have the 3 (consciousness, hopes and aspirations) simultaneously functioning at the same time. Suicides occur when a person feels there’s nothing else to live for, understand that it’s not the absence of consciousness but that of hopes and Aspirations. I’m not denying the role biological and chemical reaction plays in some cases but to reiterate the roles these 3 play at the final end of the ladder.

No matter how we view it, Hopes and Aspirations are the fuel that drives our consciousness and without them we all are as good as dead. Suicide is directly linked to the total lack or lost of faith in it. They’re the reason we look forward to the next day and the day after that. When a person experiences a certain setback in their aspirations and failure looms in their face, it’s the hope of a better day that will drive them to either try again or take an alternative option. Religious and Social organizations has over the years played a very crucial role in reinforcing our hopes and even giving a new hope to hope on. Their role is so pertinent in the third world countries, that some visitors from first world country finds either appalling or fascinating. Come to think about it, in the midst monumental corruptions, high level of unemployment, lack or few opportunities to succeed, lack of basic amenities, high crime rates and all that characterized a third world country, people flood to places that either will reinforce their hopes and aspirations or gives them a new hope to hope on. Karl Marx said ‘religion is an opium of the masses’, which is not far from the truth in a country where all the characteristics of a third world country are evident, people turn to the few sources that reinforces their hopes and aspirations.

The role hopes and aspirations play in our very existence can’t be over emphasized, they’re the reasons we are not walking corpse but conscious vivacious beings, always giving us reasons to wanting to stay alive against all odds. Life is the sum total of our experiences the good, bad and ugly and how we make each day count. So if we want to understand Life, let’s do it from the angle of hopes and aspirations and if we want to preserve Life, let’s do it by creating opportunities and policies that seeks to create hopes and generate aspirations. Policies that fosters inclusiveness and an egalitarian society where everyone has a chance, communalities that creates a sense of belonging as oppose to individualities.

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