A refuge is supposed to be a safe place that you can depend in the days of trouble. But sometimes, a refuge could become so comfortable, that before we realize it, it has turned into a prison that separates us from the world outside.
Do you have a hobby? Or should I say, an obsession? It distracts you from the worries of the world, and it turns an escape when the pressures became too much.
It could take many forms: fictions, gaming, chatting, shopping, TV shows, social media, sex, or whatever. The possibility is endless. It filled you with colors, temporary happiness, and almost a sense of fulfillment.
Yet when those activities are taken from you, you found yourself being surrounded by a strange feeling of emptiness. Suddenly, the world turns strangely quiet. Why? Did you unknowingly let those activities define your happiness?
Have you ever thought that as you love those activities… without realizing it, it has consumed so much of your time? I’m not saying these activities are necessarily bad. After all, we do need a break sometimes. But anything taken to the extreme is never good.
I too, struggle with many things. And sometimes, I found myself spending hours, becoming immersed in the world of this fake, temporal refuge.
This prison is both physical and psychological.
First, it made us lazy to go outside and meet other people. We became reluctant to help or meet another person, to lend a helping hand if it doesn’t benefit us.
Slowly, before we know it, our world shrinks into a small and limited boundary consisting of our home, school, office, a neighborhood coffee shop, and sometimes a shopping mall. Yes, there may not be literal iron bars surrounding our room. But we are confined within these four walls nonetheless. And sometimes, our vision too, is constricted within the four squares of our computer and smartphone screen.
Our mind became distracted, as we drift from one TV show to another, one novel to another, and one obsession to another.
Without meaning to, we forget the more important things in life: the relationships we could’ve built, the new things we could’ve learned, and the difference we could’ve made.
So right now, I want to challenge you to step out of this prison, to step out of your comfort zone. This journey is yours, as much as it is mine. So let us do this together.
Lift your eyes beyond your computer screen and look around you. You don’t have to travel to the other end of the world to do good and charitable deeds. Simply start by being a listening ear to your friends, to show others that we care. And let us start walking towards our neighbors who needed help.
Read a new book, (a non-fiction one if you could). Start a new hobby. Start engaging one another in a thoughtful conversation. Listen. Take a walk beyond the concrete jungle and take a moment to observe nature and its beauty.
And above all, remember to be thankful for the new little things that you will see in life as we walk out of this prison… to a new, hopeful beginning.
Photograph by Amelia