Issue 4, Volume 18
“Pooja, what is this behavior?” probed a livid Shonali.
“I’m sorry.” replied a composed Pooja “I kicked it by mistake.”
“You can’t kick it by mistake.” Rebuked Shonali. Perhaps Pooja did, in fact, kick the bin on purpose. Maybe she didn’t. There is no way of knowing.
The cornerstone of our society is the reasonable person. This, even I, who doesn’t know many things, at the least, but just like any well-educated first-year JD Zoom student, will tell you for sure, is true. It is the Archimedean principle in our discourse, lives and year.
Well-known to each of us, at various points we converse with this person. An embodiment of the fine balance between passion and prudence for me, I seek their intervention with the aspiration that like them, one day, I will too find such equilibrium.
I confer with them on every occasion I experience the angst of being affronted with choice. Intolerable inconsistencies become sufferable; answers become rather obvious. Clearly, Shonali too knows them, as does Pooja and so too does the amused viewer. We know then, albeit indirectly, that Pooja can’t kick the bin by mistake.
Which begs the question – why did Pooja kick it on purpose? My reason tells me that Pooja, by reason of discontent, unreasonably kicked the bin. Pooja did then, have reason to act unreasonably. Was Pooja’s behavior reasonable or unreasonable?
Now, I’m spiraling. Everything is either reasonable or unreasonable, and reason governs that only either of these mutually exclusive categories be regarded with the truth value of true. This is insufferable. Or have I been told a lie and life is meaningful after all. Either way, I snap out of this nightmare and focus on the spectacle before me. I laugh. All the time.
Sometime ago, I heard in class that an issue is non-justiciable just because it is. The argument was more sophisticated than this but at its essence there was either an infinite regress or the equivalent of God. Reason seemed to support this argument well, but it didn’t sit well with me. Am I being unreasonable? Yes, said a peer. The professor shrugged his shoulders. But I felt it in my bones. I know I am right. Taking the leap of faith taught me to embrace the deafening silence. It sounds like freedom. But ever so often, I do speak to an old friend and am immediately acquainted with the disappointment I once felt. I ask myself, why do you engage in this toxic behavior? WhAt iS tHiS bEhaViOuR? I must resist.
Amtesh is a first year JD student.