Before I move on to my entry, let me share how happy I am right now. Spent yesterday afternoon playing Monopoly with Vic and Joseph in Trinoma. After being devastated because of my horrendous loss ( I was broke beyond redemption), I finally got to see the final Harry Potter movie! I really thought that nothing else could add to the joy that I felt because of the film, but today was actually equally better. I really had fun during our first NSTP+ insertion because I was able to bond with my classmates and I also met my two tutees. It was also very fortunate that my best friend managed to get us tickets for the AdMU vs. DLSU game one, and it was a good match! I was screaming and cheering like crazy.
If only things like these would happen regularly every weekend, I definitely won't mind going through stressful school days.
---People, by nature, desire consistency.
Over the summer, I was able to read Delirium
, a young adult novel by Lauren Oliver. Before, whenever I search the internet for possible good reads, the flashy book covers catch my attention first. But as I grew older, I paid more attention to the summaries, because it's simply the most logical way to determine if the book could actually appeal to me. Fortunately, Delirium
didn't fail to do so.
Imagine a setting wherein people consider love a
s a disease. Pretty intriguing, right? Also called Amor deliria nervosa, love is presented in the book as a taboo, something that is improper and unacceptable in society. In the story, people are warned about the symptoms of this disease - preoccupation; difficulty focusing; dry mouth; perspiration, sweaty palms; dizziness; and disorientation - and if these apply to you, then you are undoubtedly infected.
Fortunately, there is a cure, and the government requires every citizen to be cured upon turning eighteen. A person's memories after the cure has been given won't be as vivid as they used to be before his/her operation. In fact, the cure is like some sort of brainwashing, and you would actually lose your ability to feel. Despite this, everyone is made to believe that this is the right thing to do since this disease has caused damages in the past; they say that love brought out the worst in people - anger, fear, and jealousy were all over the place. So in other words, the cure is the key to the 'perfect' society.
To achieve this 'perfect' society, the governme
nt dictates how one is supposed to live his life. The government's the one who decides what career he should take, who he should marry, and how many kids they're going to have. Of course, people don't complain, because they've been robbed of their freedom since the day they got cured. And besides, everyone thinks that this is the ideal way of living - a life without love is a life without pain. Peace, order, and assurance will surely prevail.
The protagonist, Lena Haloway, is looking forward to the day of her operation because it would finally free her from all the pain caused by losing her parents at an early age. Just like everybody else, she believes that the disease has no place in society, and that the cure is a gift from the heavens. But only a few months away from getting cured, Lena unexpectedly does the unimaginable: she falls in love.
While reading the book, I was able to feel the dissonance in Lena's situation. Falling in love is totally inconsistent with the beliefs that she has carried all her life. Growing up, she was taught about the dangers of the disease, but never in her wildest dreams has she imagined that she would someday get infected. Like any other human being, she desperately tries to get rid of the dissonance. Lena forces herself to push her feelings away, or forcefully misinterprets the elements involved in her situation. I can only imagine how hard it is for her.
Just like in real life, we always seek assurance. We tend to look for the easier things and those which would not make us feel uncomfortable. We are often afraid of decisions, especially those that have the power to change our situations drastically. We cannot blame people from sacrificing great things for the sake of consistency since not all of us are brave enough to go out of our comfort zones.
But given the choice, would you take the cure to EXIST, or would you refuse it to LIVE?