Sunday, January 2, 2011

First 2011 Blog: What really Life is...

Photo: The Cross by Paik666 (

Quite a sad way for me to start 2011...

We had just finished celebrating Christmas when shocking news came to the household a couple of days later: my grandmother figured in an accident and suffered a major head injury. Day in and day out, my father continued to communicate with the doctors on her condition. Sadly though, the mere fact was this: she is already dying and there was nothing they could even do to prolong it.

As I type this essay, instead of the year-end essay that should have been posted days ago (sorry guys, it will not happen...), I could not help but wonder if I am still doing the right thing in her honor. She has joined the Great Creator right now (actually, just hours ago), yet instead of mourning, I chose to be indifferent and keep the emotions to myself.  While the midst of the silence and sadness, my other siblings continued on their post-new-year revelry like it was nothing. That begs me to ask this question: who is the heretic in the scenario?

I leave that question amongst yourselves, as I wish to delve into my short discussion of what life really is. A lot of people, mostly scientists, philosophers, and preachers, have defined it in various conflicting ways. But they do agree on two elements for that matter: existence and consciousness.

It is said that life means existence, in such a way that we can appreciate it just by utilizing our primary senses. The moment that we recognize something or someone either by sight, sound, scent, taste, or touch (as applied accordingly), we can tell that it is alive. There’s a flaw into this statement though, as the definition is quite broad.

That is where consciousness factors in. Wikipedia defined it as “a subjective awareness, the ability to experience feeling, the understanding of the concept “self”, or the executive control system of the mind.” Deducing this statement in relation to existence, existence is what is outside; consciousness is what is within. To put it in a much simpler way, existence is what ticks within us; consciousness is what keeps it from ticking.

And judging from what I just said in the previous paragraph, both elements must coexist in order for life to be appreciated. Without life, in layman’s terms, everything we appreciate would be nothing.

Now what does this brief discussion about life have to do with my grandmother? Plain and simple: like all mothers, she was a beacon of wisdom and compassion, resonating her presence not just to her children, but through their offspring as well. Most of all, and I am not making this up, because of her life, and most importantly her endearing love for his family,  my dad had a reason to keep on living, before he had my family to begin with.

I will not ramble on with more mushiness lest I start drenching the keyboards with my tears, but I will be staunch about this; if we do not start valuing whatever life we still have, not just amongst ourselves but also with all other entities around us, then we do not deserve to be called living beings in the first place...

To close, I wish to leave this chorus for all those people who are at their ‘twilight period’ – that point when they have forgotten what the concept of life really is. This may not be related to what I just rambled on, but it begs to beckon...

“When life leaves us blind,
Love keeps us kind...”

-Linkin Park, The Messenger

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