I have this very good friend here in BITS who is very, very good at physics, but very, very bad at human psychology. Ironically, it is with this friend that I discuss most of the pressing issues about life. And yes, though this friend doesn’t appreciate human behaviour as much as I do, she does manage to give me ideas… Lots of ideas. Like the other day when we were taking time off studies. The topic of discussion that day was whether man would have been better without emotions.
Most of us will agree to the fact that there is no life if there are no emotions. Without emotions, there would be no motivation to live. The whole human civilization would come to a standstill. It is desire that drives our mind and body. The ultimate goal is happiness. Had there been no desire, why would you want to sleep? Why would you want to dress, cry, laugh, celebrate? Moreover, why would we love?
This is where another friend, also involved in the discussion, gave the example of childbirth. A woman gives birth to a child, but she has no emotions whatsoever attached to that little soul. Hours after the birth, she feels hungry, and the nearest thing looking edible is the child. Since there is no attachment, she wouldn’t hesitate a second before consuming her own progeny. Considering the fact that there would be millions of such women all across the world, there would be a million deaths. How will the race continue?
Gross example it is, I agree, but it did end the argument. Later that evening, over dinner, as I drifted into my own world, I again started contemplating. True, emotions can’t be done away with. But imagine life without that small fragment… if there was no one to love, there would be no one to hate. No desire would imply no rat race, no pressure to prove you to the world. Furthermore, no let-downs, no sorrow, no regret… it’s not a bad bet!
I was still chewing over this piece of her mind, when we started talking again. This time, the topic to murder was love. Midway through this discussion, I got so frustrated with trying to make her understand the importance of love in life; I asked her how she defined love.
Her reply was shocking to me at first. “Love is nothing but probably dependence.” I did not understand, so I asked her to elaborate. “Why do you love somebody?” she started. I couldn’t answer. I always thought love was unconditional. “People love only those people whom they need”, she continued when she realised I was too appalled with the reply. “I love my parents because whatever I do my subconscious knows I need them to survive. We love friends because we need somebody to share experiences with. We fall in love because we need somebody to stick to us when the whole world is against us.”
For the first time in my life, I was left speechless. Love was, in my dictionary, the most pure and morally right emotion. This discussion shook the whole foundation.
I’m still pondering over this. Is man really that shallow?
It is probably not for us to decide.