The Thin Lines

by Charles U. Ofoefule

Several attempts have been made to clearly explain the different phenomena and experiences that are unavoidably attached to human nature. Whether or not these explanations have been concise is absolutely a matter of option.

It is a known fact that man is a ‘complex’ being; a truth that is evident in the extent of racial, cultural, physiological and behavioral diversities that abound globally.

The cardinal feelings in human existence are strongly formed around joy and sorrow, laughter and pain, love and hatred, and life and death. Even before we lose our innocence, we are still very much exposed to these infectious and mundane phenomena. Our temperaments form a zero basis of exemption in shielding us from their contamination. As opposite as they are in analysis, it is so amazing to experience how closely bound they are.

Our daily living presents a plane mirror through which we can see how joy/laughter and pain/sorrow are thinly separated. A single tickling of a child can cause a transition from crying to laughing; one needle prick can likewise reverse the case. Even the most ruthless military officers have a natural ability to gainfully experience the feelings of joy and happiness, and still function as brutal agents for administering pain, sorrow and grief to others.

A joyful morning does not guarantee a happy evening; a sorrowful today does not imply a grievous tomorrow. Rapid drifts across these states and feelings are extremely feasible. The ease and possibility of transition unveils the thinness of the permeable membrane separating joy/happiness and pain/sorrow.

Nature gracefully engineered every human with the characteristic of being able to truly love and venomously hate. ‘Love’ and ‘hate’ are two distinctively opposite feelings yet so closely tied that they lie separated by almost nothing.

Our encounter through life in addition to historical records provides prove beyond every iota of doubt that: your best friend of today could be your arch-enemy tomorrow; your sweet lover of tomorrow could be that very person you disdain the most. This eliminates the impossibilities of any successful voyage from the realm of love to hate and vice versa.

At different times, many have vowed to endlessly love one another while some have sworn never to take away the veil of their hatred over other. In spite of how willful and elixir-like these vows sound, the ever glaring reality is that they are constantly being walloped by the test of time. It is much easier to switch between love and hate than for an elephant to enter an ant’s hole.

The fragility of ‘life’ between ‘death’ is ably described by the unsteady balance of a swinging see-saw. Daily, new entries make their debut into the world while others finish their tour from it. One mistake, error or act of negligence is surplus to tilt the balance between life and its arch-enemy, death.

Like in a coin-toss, the chance to live the next moment or not, hangs in the edge of the tossed coin. We are often amazed at the mystery of conception, ever dazed at the suddenness of death and always compelled by the forces of nature to feel the realities in the fiction of life and death.

As long as the unpredictability of the counting of time remains, the lines permeating the realms of joy from sorrow, love from hate, and life from death would inevitably remain thin.
Our lives have been modeled to revolve around these cardinal phenomena and experiences. As humans, whether we like it or not, we are bound to drift across the domains bounded by the thin line in our existence.

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