As I was looking through my window, I noticed something very revealing; actually nothing strange was happening. However, sometimes you understand the deep meaning and symbolism of things that have always seemed normal to you at first. In front of me was the Mkalles roundabout, one of many in Lebanon. This though, the cars circling all around grabbed my attention. As I kept my focus on the vehicles, many were repeating the same action all over again. Consequently, I asked myself: “What’s the difference between the people in the cars and robots? Who was actually conditioning these individuals to repeatedly conduct those actions as such?”
A robot is a machine programmed by a computer to be controlled through an external control device or even from within. The human kind initially created this tool to help them achieve complex tasks in an easier and faster way. While the average person takes twenty minutes to wash the dishes after dinner, a robot may complete this task in less than five minutes. All credits go to this advanced technology; specific actions can be done in a more effective way. From another angle, every industry is filled with robots, unlike old times, when people used to work harder, struggling to satisfy market demand. The solution was brought by incorporating such useful tools that can produce a large amount of products in a limited time-frame. This led to a large decrease in the salaries and other labour costs. Everything must serve its purpose before reaching its expiry date. Robots are mainly dependent tools that should be controlled. They are like parasites: they cannot survive without their host, who in that case is the controller of such machines.
What about humans? In theory, humans are expected to be the mammals that have acquired the art of thinking and controlling their emotions and actions. They must know how to make their own decisions based on the equilibrium between rationale and emotions. Unlike robots, humans are far more complex organisms that are supposedly superior to robots in all aspects. Humans know how to be sociable and interact. They have critical thinking, ideas, opinions and even arguments towards various topics. Humans take initiatives: they run a startup, a business; they are solution-oriented, communicate and exchange ideas. In short, they are nothing like robots. Mankind is a rare species that innovates and evolves. That being said, humans are the ones that create robots. Not the other way around.
Nowadays, these two definitions have come to blend in with each other, forming one entity. People have lost their souls, the very thing that makes them human. Most of them behave and talk like a body that holds no heart. Manipulation has become the word of the day for most of them. They have lost sight of reason and logic. Courage has faded within them. Actually, humans are feeling nothing, they are all numb.
They have wasted their bravery yet they remain fearless.
Their smile is gone yet their melancholy is nowhere to be found.
Their sense of justice is dormant. Nothing is in their brain.
Eventually, they have lost this vital organ.
While not wanting to sound harsh with my words, the truth hurts. Humans have become robots. Not everyone notices this trait in them because we lose ourselves in the attempt of creating the ideal lifestyle, relying on manipulators that fake caring about our rights.
As I broaden my view, I aim to understand the reason behind people’s shift and hidden desperation. I realized that there was a bigger circle, more dominant than the roundabout mentioned earlier. A circle that knows how to adapt in two traits: the first one by being a poison to its surroundings, and the second one by making them succumb to becoming robots. Political parties are the sweet poison that fake a smile in front of your face and listen carefully to your weaknesses and needs in order to do quite the opposite. They take advantage of your weak spots and play them against you. As powerful as they seem to the Lebanese people, they lose all authority when it comes to external powers that trick them and capitalize on their weak points themselves in order to make their ends meet.
Every time I expanded my vision, the same scenario seemed to happen all over again. Everyone was caged, dependent, reliant and clueless numbed by the drug that’s called adaptation. But it wasn’t about choosing to live life as such. People had no choice anymore; they took on this habit many years ago and to escape this strangling cage meant to bleed out and suffer to attain the surface and breathe again. It wasn’t about walking on the same path, it was about getting out of the circle. The mindset. This required sacrifice, strength and bravery, and many are not ready yet for this kind of change.
As I closed the curtain of my desk window, I told my colleague we need to readjust.
“I had a voice but I could not sing”
– Bird Set Free by Sia