Upon my younger brother’s request, I read The fault in our stars By John Green. It was a “page-turner,” and I would suggest it to anyone with a soul. Although I love reading, I often find myself looking at the page number wondering when I will be finished. This was not the case. However, I was shocked about my reaction.
I did not cry, in fact, I laughed out loud more than I felt sadness. Maybe I am heartless, however, I think it is because I truly understood the characters. Which is not shocking. Basically, to win me over in most aspects of life, you need a strong female lead and to discuss any topics related to Anne Frank. This book accomplished both.
The message is very existential in nature, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I could not help but to think, “what does it really matter?” Life, that is.
I fancy myself in that I practice mindfulness activities. They center me, and ground me, without placing judgement upon myself. One evening, after a few beers, I had what I consider “the most mindful” experience I have ever encountered. It was neither negative, or positive… mostly insightful.
I was sitting outside of a Baton Rouge bar, enjoying conversation with my friend, when I looked into a bug zapper. I saw the light, and zoned out for what felt like hours. I watched the bugs disappear blissfully into the machine, only to never return in that same form. “What are we,” I thought.
The life span of a bug, hopefully, is exponentially shorter than that of a human. But is it? What does time have to do with any of it if you are not remembered?
Mr. Green so gracefully makes this point throughout the book. Inherently, people just want to be remembered, or to leave something behind. Some people lose sight of that when faced with the normality of life; but in death, it is a different story.
While staring into that bug zapper, that warm summer evening, I envisioned I was the bug. It felt peaceful. I had no purpose, or drive, simply freedom. Death is the privilege of freedom.
Death has been providing freedom since the beginning of time. The universe dies for its inhabitants at an alarmingly rapid pace. People die for freedom. Bugs die for freedom.
As mentioned before, I did not cry or feel sadness for the characters with cancer. I felt sadness for the ones that did not get to feel freedom, but are racked with the constant worrying of how they may die.
In the end, I do believe everyone has a purpose. I also believe that everyone is connected, either on a cellular level, or by actions. The thought that my actions could impact people 100 years from now, is astonishing.
For instance, think of Anne Frank. Her legacy is stronger than ever, and is still influencing the way people mold their behaviors. She has always been an inspiration to me, and it is my hope that I can continue to connect with her.
May my actions, and all those I encounter, be inspired by my deeds and words… That is my wish. This book solidified my desire to love fully, and not to waste my innermost thoughts and feelings to social norms… Through this, I may hypothetically die on some levels (e.g., privacy & vulnerability), but I will have freedom. Freedom to live, and love.
Because in the end, I am just a bug floating through the waves of consciousness hoping to inspire the masses.
** I would like to thank the bug that inspired this post, may he/she rest in peace.