Today was a quiet day at work, a silent day in our department, and I was a sleepy girl trying to maintain some form of concentration while fasting. I spent a good portion of my time fighting the urge to doze off under the chilled air of the AC, but I didn’t . In fact, I used my hours productively, as I was searching the internet for articles on how to create good social media content for NGOs. After all, this is one of the tasks I am trying to succeed in at my job, and to achieve this goal I am using a combination of my knowledge and the good old trial and error method.
Fortunately life has a way of throwing an interesting twist to such a normal setting, and true to form it threw such a twist to this particularly normal day. In the middle of my search, a pop up window appeared on my screen out of nowhere. The window read “If you can have one superpower what would it be” and disappeared, well it didn’t exactly disappeared as this is not a harry potter scenario, but it sank to the place where such windows go to at the bottom of the screen. I read these words, and I paused for a minute. I didn’t know why I was getting this window or what the purpose of it was, but it definitely made me smile. I thought for a minute and said to myself “I would love to read other people’s minds” and with this thought I went back to work.
But, later in the day and well after working hours, the fantasy of reading people’s minds came back to me. I thought to myself, If I could read people’s minds maybe then, I would get some understanding about the injustice we see in the world around us. Maybe I can begin to understand the inconsistencies we see in people’s behavior. I started to imagine a world where we could read each others’ minds and it was then that this little pop-up window started to get even more entertaining.
To be fair, I wouldn’t mind having other people read my mind. After all, I’m a direct person with nothing to hide. I say things as they are, as I feel them, and directly to the person involved. I don’t engage in gossip because gossip involves talking behind people’s backs and I figure people will know what I’m saying about them anyway. This fact is tested and true, especially in our society where the volunteers willing to spread gossip are many. The years in my life even taught me to cut the middle man out and to tell the person whatever negative thought I have about them to their faces. That way they will get the correct story and not some embellished version of it retold by a person with other motives. Of course, these motives can be as vindictive as making the original teller look bad or as simple as the middle man craving the excitement of having a fresh piece of news to share. Let’s face it, such news often gets the interest of the empty headed, not to mention the people with too much free time, and such people are many.
I know these facts because I used to be a gossiper myself, but lately I’m finding that activity less meaningful, and less productive. I don’t care what people think of me and I don’t care what people do, think, or say within their own personal lives. On a personal level, I’m sure some people think I’m mean and others think I’m nice but that is their issue. Now, if I could mind read, I would know the answers to these questions myself, but that is not why I would love to have this superpower. That information is pointless and it won’t add any value to my life.
I would like to mind read just to understand how people can be so cruel. I would read minds just to begin to understand how people could kill in cold blood. I would just want to see how people could blatantly lie about themselves on a personal level, and to the masses on a larger level just to justify an action that is far from the ethical, and yes I would want to mind read just to know how a person would say one thing and do something completely opposing what he/she said. Most importantly, I would like to mind read just to know when, where, and how we lost the commitment to be the best people we can be.
I am not a greedy person, I would not mind if everyone in this world got the same super power as me. In fact I would welcome it.
Maybe if we can all read each other’s minds we would know that our lies would be caught, and it would become too embarrassing to lie. Maybe if we could all share this power, we would know how and why certain leaders act the way they do and certain societies think the way they think. We would know that a force, person, or thought is going to break us before the breaking happens, and we would be smart enough to walk away or at least we would have a plan to fight it.
We might then know when an action is genuine when it is and fake and we would accept it or reject it not based on predictions but based on knowledge. We would save ourselves the trouble of fighting a lost cause, and we would continue to fight for the causes worth fighting for. We would excuse bad behavior because we know what and how it is fueled, and we would know when good behavior is a mask hiding a big dark secret. If we could read minds, I imagine we would save ourselves so much trouble if we could mind read, as we would understand each other.
Sadly, that only happens in the imaginary world that sprung from a window on my screen, a fake world of dreams where one can mind read and save him/herself the trouble of shock. Now, let’s go back to the real world where most actions are met with the phrase WTH ?, a bewildered face, and a realization that many questions will remain unanswered forever.
This, my friends, is the dark reality of our closed minds.