“How come you seem so experienced, Janani?”
It was a casual question posed by my friend. But it got me seriously thinking. How is it, that I could behave in a manner that makes people feel that I am ‘experienced’? I am only an adolescent of 14 years. Experience is something that a person gains through the years of his/her lifetime. After we leave our mortal bodies, Experience is what will retain in our souls. An experienced man would always be rich, even without money. Experience is not something that can be bought, rather earned. After a long time pondering, I got the answer.
Empathy and Books.
Books are an integral part of my life. Since I am not very social, I am mostly self-indulged, and books help me pass my time.
On the other hand, Empathy is an emotion in which one puts another’s life in his shoes and tries to solve it in their way. They attempt to share the feelings that the other person felt, and act accordingly (This is a simplified version, not exact).
Then how did they give me ‘experience’? Let’s take an example.
Of recently, I read the Divergent series. As I read, I pictured everything in my head. I became the protagonist and tried to live her life.I imagined her reactions when she heard something sad, happy or irritating. In my mind, I became young Beatrice(alias Tris).I tried to reason with the decisions she took, sometimes I agree with her, sometimes I don’t. That gave me an ‘experience’ of making decisions. If, in future, I come across a time when I have to take the same decision- I know what to do. I felt her sorrows, her pains. Whatever happened in those books, it felt like it had happened to me too, giving me a wonderful experience.
More than my school, it is these books that teach me about the subject Life. If you take the above example(of Allegiant), I found a few quotations that struck me hard.Like this one (on page 371& 372 of Allegiant) here Tris beautifully describes what love is: “…..I thought of how strong I have become, how secure I feel with the person I am now, and how all along the way he (Tobias) told me that I am brave, I am respected, am loved and worth loving………I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landed where they landed with no choice afterwards.And maybe that’s true of beginnings, but not now…..I fell in love with him.But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there is no one available.Every day when I wake up, even if we fight or lie or disappoint each other, I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.” Some others are the last two quotes of Tobias(alias Four) in the very last of Allegiant which show how loss can be painful; In his very own words: ” I know that life damages each one of us in every way possible, but we learn to mend each other”. In the very book, Tris dies, devastating us, but the author gave us a point.Whatever happens, happens. We can’t change it. Even though it hurts, it is true.
But this is not the only book that taught me life morals. Divergent taught me that it is okay to be different. The Hunger Games taught me that we should stand up against injustice. The Fault in our Stars taught me that we should make the most out of life. The Maze Runner taught me that sometimes our very own brains may endanger life and Bridge to Terabithia taught me that when we lose something, we should move on and take the good things with us. I have just named a few.There are thousands more.
Well, I have lived through a few dystopian worlds: Survived 2 Hunger Games, found myself Divergent (I really am!), had an incredible journey searching for a ‘Paper Town’, Had a friend called Alaska, survived Cancer……
I wonder if I could put it on my resume! Happy Reading, folks!