There are moments when my resolve gives way to feelings of surrender. It usually accompanies moments in my life when I realise that my expectations are consistently exceeding my reality, often relative to those around me. Initially I find myself rejecting the simple truth that that holds, but eventually the unintended cycle of recalibrating my expectations begins. Recalibration for me is like rising to the surface for a breath of air before submerging again into the sea of expectations that pervade my life.
In the absence of this cycle, I find myself growing persistent in my justified views of what should be expected from those around me. As much as I have my rights to those expectations, its unfulfilled reality strips me of the peace that would otherwise be enjoyed should those rights have been fulfilled. It was in contemplating this that I realised that life is all about victims and oppressors, with a smattering of humanity in between. When we recognise and fulfil our rights towards those around us, we become humane. The moment we fall short or overstep those bounds, we become either oppressors or victims respectively.
The challenge with this realisation though is that most people are so immersed in their need to be fulfilled, that they have long since lost sight of the rights that others have over them. The overwhelming majority of those that still breathe today are victims of circumstance, and mostly of themselves. It is this reality that forces the need for recalibration because in the normal course of life, everything being equal, and all parties fulfilling their rights before demanding their expectations, such recalibration will not be needed because the natural order will be maintained. Withholding our contribution towards the fulfilment of the rights of those around us disrupts that order, and more often than not we are the ones withholding in response to us being the disgruntled recipients of the effects of that very same disorder.
Simply stated, we easily forget to notice that we often impose oppression on those around us because of an oppression that we may have experienced at a different time in our lives. Unless we stop to reflect on the reality of when we slip into that victim state of mind, chances are great that we will find ourselves being party to the very same oppression that we decry. In my short life I have witnessed the worst oppression being meted out by those who viewed themselves as victims before anything else. Moments like those are often what prompted the need for recalibration. In the face of such victim-inspired oppression, it made no sense to persist in my expectation of having my rights fulfilled by one that was oblivious to it. Recalibration, at that point, allowed me a moment to resuscitate myself from the suffocation of the imbalance around me.
I’ve also recently realised that my pursuit for balance, and therefore logical conclusions, is core to my frustrations with those around me. People behave emotively before they consider logic. I’m often reminded of the verse from the Qur’an that states that everything was fashioned in due proportion. Such proportion I believe is not limited to just our physical form, but instead, to every single law that governs our existence. When that balance is disrupted, ill health and mental strife follow, often manifesting itself as oppression, or victim-hood.
Recalibration is therefore not simply an indulgence in seeking a meditated balance in my life. It is a tool for survival. Survival from the insanity that parades as humanity. Survival from the chaos that I am inclined by nature to unravel and restore into an ordered state. Resistance to that order is what oppresses me, which oddly enough is the resistance of a victim to contribute towards an order that they were denied, and therefore refuses to break the cycle, choosing to pay it forward instead.
My efforts at recalibration used to be sub-conscious. In recent times it has become a conscious need, and with it, the mindfulness of what I need to surrender in the process drives my ego to resist my efforts at recalibration because of the need to sacrifice my own benefits in favour of sanity. The moment we place more emphasis on our rights than we do on our sanity, we become a threat to the morbid peace enjoyed by those around us.