Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Ditulis oleh: Raynard William
Disunting oleh: Adara Zalikha
Ilustrasi oleh: Pricharia Via

Humans, a bipedal blob of carbons, within a span of six million years, have conquered the earth, the blue marble that holds a vast and dark blanket space. We have grown massively in numbers, covering all corners of the earth. We are on land, sea, air, and even the almost impossible vacuum of space. Our civilization has gone and experienced advancements like never before. We flew men to the moon, we eradicated smallpox, and we stretched life expectancy to the point we previously thought impossible.  With these achievements, humans are certainly a daring species. Aren’t we? Debatable. Human minds have solved intricate obstacles, however we have yet to eradicate the dark, negative feelings that often consume human life. 

The human species have gone from monkey see, monkey do to being the most successful on earth. We evolved bit by bit, and became smarter, smarter, and smarter. Our brains are machines that have made humankind’s greatest achievements possible. Yet, misery, sadness, and sorrow still become part of the average human life. From the stone age to the nuclear era, this is one big issue we haven’t eradicated. It is now apparent that humanity and sadness are eternal friends, bound by this little thing called life. A bond most impenetrable.

Anxiety, misery, dissatisfaction, and other negative feelings are part of basic human nature. I, myself and 7 million other humans have currently or will have dark negative feelings. Life is fun, but it is not happy all the time. A life where each day is full of joy, hope and excitement is unheard of. Instead, life is full of ups and downs, twists and turns — rarely a bore to experience, sometimes unbearable and other times a dream.  Just as each human being is unique, each individual has different reasons behind their darkness. Though the human brain has developed and caused great revolutions,  one question remains. As human beings, why do we feel and have to live with these invisible dark burdens? 

After much thought, I would say the human need of working in and being part of a group in correlation with the ability to develop is the cause as to why we are so bound to all different types of emotions. The darkness that hides in negative feelings often becomes the foundation of continued evolution, a push to be better and a reason to fight. If contentment were an everyday norm, humans would be under the fear of being stagnant. Rejection from a group feels like a knife to the heart.

So to prevent ever coming into contact with the blade of rejection, we developed the feeling of pain which causes us to grow from the rejection into becoming better. The hostile nature of our ancestors forces us to locate every possible threat then decide to continue living or not, so we develop overthinking and anxiety, thus having better planning and analytical skills. 

If I could put it simply, there is a silver lining to the darkness–for example, weaponing anxiety. The darkness of fear, anxiety, sadness etc. that made previous human settlements overcome the wilderness is still very much applicable to these present times. The wilderness is the only thing that’s changed. Though the fear of being hunted by wild beasts is gone, that very same fear has been replaced with acceptance rates and low GPAs. 

As I write this piece, I am aware that my friends and I have gotten familiar with anxiety because of college entrance preparations. From a positive perspective, anxiety has made us more diligent at studying and focused on getting accepted into our dream university. We have successfully weaponised anxiety. I believe sadness and other dark feelings are the push factor behind the survival of the human species, acting as a push factor that is more effective than any other. 

Here we are, the 21st century. We are no longer living in caves, facing the threat of being gulped by wild beasts, death by simple cuts and all other hostility our ancestors used to encounter. Yet, rejection still hurts, anxiety continues to be dreadful, dissatisfaction still exists. These emotions that have been around for longer than we can comprehend have not yet faded. Will they ever? It seems that we have no choice but to thrive alongside the darkness that lives in all of us. 

Hello darkness, our old friend. We would like to thank you for playing your part in making us humans grow and survive. Most of the time, we may hate you, we may despise you, but you are still in us. Bounded like a friend, if you must.

Walking alongside us, growing as one in an effort to become better and beyond.

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