HUMMING IN MY UNIVERSE By Jim Paredes (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 15, 2017
Life is a dictator. It is cruel, impersonal, and does not care for anyone. You must live by its rules. There are immutable laws that one must comply with if we must live a life. You must obey them, or suffer more than you should.
First and foremost, there is gravity that we must immediately recognize. In the early parts of life, it seems like we can accommodate it easily. Sure, you trip, you fall when you are learning to deal with it. You can break your bones, too. As a young person with a flexible, strong body, you can jump, dance, run and play with it, and it may even seem like you can defy it. But as you get older, gravity gets stronger as your body gets progressively weaker until your relationship with gravity is pure subservience to it. You can’t jump as high, you tire easily, and the chores you do daily become generally more difficult.
Like a dictator, life insists on its own rules. All we can do is comply. Sometimes we think we can defy the rules, but we wake up and realize we are just fooling ourselves.
Here are some of the life rules that may take us forever to learn, yet we must.
1) You can’t deny life. It is alive and “on” every moment, whether you notice it or not. You may take mood-altering substances to make it seem like it does not exist. You may consciously ignore life’s demands and imperatives. But reality will always rear its ugly head and, sooner or later, you will have to deal with it.
2) Everything has consequences, whether you act on them or not.
3) Whether or not you see yourself as a good person, you will hurt someone.
4) The person you love the most will be the person you will probably hurt the most.
5) Life will pull you every which way and this will bring you great pleasure, pain, confusion, fear, love. Whatever happens, you must strive for balance at all times. This is paramount.
6) You will age. Your body will surrender. You will die. That’s for sure.
7) The weather will affect not just your moods but also your health and disposition. Global warming will be a big factor in choosing where and how you will live.
8) You will have to meet, face, deal with and accept yourself whoever, whatever and however you are, if you wish to have peace and happiness. This may take quite a while to achieve. But you must do it.
9) The earlier you realize the you are not entitled to anything, and accept this dictatorial edict of life, the sooner you will be happy and peaceful.
10) You are a unique being living in a particular time and space. You cannot live the life of another human being, no matter how much you try. You are forced to be you. You alone must decide and define who you are and what your purpose is in this world.
11) No matter how physically beautiful you are, or how together you seem to be, or how highly you regard yourself, there is an ugly side to you that you must come to terms with.
12) You will affect people and people will affect you, for better or for worse.
13) If you don’t show up for your own life, no one will. The more you show up, the better your chances are at living it.
14) Life is not always fair. You deal with what is put on your plate.
15) The only way to free yourself from misery is to accept the ugly, miserable dictatorship of life. Only then does it become bearable and beautiful.
16) But all is not gloomy. Lastly, despite the dictatorship, happiness, peace, love, fulfillment and meaning can be achieved.