Thursday, February 11, 2010

Too late

There are just countless ways that we as humans can physically or mentally injure another person. Consciously or unconsciously we hurt each other. It's true as well as inevitable. Yet a lot of people have come to realize it's the strike to the mind and one's self-respect that do much more damage than physical ones.

'Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.' To put it simply, if that was a true or false statement, it would be a downright false one. No matter how mentally strong we may be, we're still vulnerable and susceptible to mere utterances by fellow human beings.

And the worst part is, words cannot be taken back. Absolutely not. Irreversible. So once you've spoken rash words, even if you didn't mean them, they have reached the other person; the damage has been done. Okay, standing from a point where we want to fix the situation. Plan A: Stop the words from entering the other person's ears. Let's see. Covering the person's ears? If you wanted to do so, that would be a voluntary action. Let's take the fastest possible range of movement of a human being. Your reflex(an involuntary form of action), takes an approximate 0.18 seconds to be executed; bear in mind that your reflex would allow only movement of your hands a distance of a few centimeters. In one second, you'd be able to take three large steps at most. On the other hand, the speed of sound is 343 meters per second. I guess your words might have reached the ears of the person you were talking to before you got a chance to even blink.

Plan A is a failure. Let's move on to plan B: Erase the memory of the person who heard the words. Why, that's foolproof! Imagine, with him not remembering what you said, why would he find any fault in you? We can delete a song, a file, a whole document from our computer but unfortunately the same cannot be said of the human brain. We are incapable of erasing our memories at will, let alone selectively doing so to others. The human memory is so complicated that the exact localization of memory areas is a fact hitherto unknown; even scientists can't pinpoint and tell us precisely where memories are located in the brain, although many physiologists agree that they are located at the cerebrum(the large area of the brain covering the surface of the cortex). Still, that is very general. Though we may complain of not being able to remember facts and dates in history, yet we're able to remember what people say to us for life, that depending on the significance of both the person who was speaking to us and the words spoken. And somehow negative comments and criticism have a way of sticking to our memory better than a piece of paper sticking to another by super glue or two plungers pressed against each other or two supermagnets placed together with their opposite poles facing each other. Even more so when the harsh and cruel words spoken are by people close to us.

Therefore we can safely render the effort of erasing one's memory utterly futile. In that case, what is left for us to do? Well, they say 'time heals all wounds', and to a certain extent all of us can identify with that. But of course, the compunction in ourselves, the guilty ones, remains. While we wait for time to do its thing, in the meantime, we can say to the offended party 'sorry'. Alas, that's the only thing we can do; do we have any other options?

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