Ahsan Mir
5 min readApr 23, 2022


The light-colored font encourages the writer to tell a story. But some stories cannot be told. They are understood, they are cherished, they are loved, and they are held tightly, never to be shared or spoken. Social constructs encourage averages, what is reasonable — they ask, “is it reasonable?”. In most cases, reasonable is the optimal choice; we live in a world dominated by averages — statistically normal behavior patterns. Makes the world easier to understand — Edward de Bono — learning techniques, making sense of the new from a previously known experience. The reasonable is within that statistical range. You act within reason, and you can cause harm to those who are not. It is harrowing; it was within reason, but what was required was not reason but understanding. Understanding comes from experience, but if your experiences are average, you will act within reason, and not understanding, you can tell this is not appropriate for the situation. Still, you do not have the knowledge to respond appropriately. So you act reasonably, your default response, which is quite frankly extremely harmful in certain situations. We live in a world of averages — it is apathy for those who are not.

We are born ignorant, while we think we are getting smarter, the truth is we are becoming more ignorant, more rigid as we get older. So quest for that child’s mind, that true freedom to find creativity, unorthodox, lateral thinking. Truly experiencing life is living beyond the average, where you are constantly made aware of how ignorant and wrong you are about everything. You are constantly reminded that you have to learn more, know more, be more ignorant, and remain silent and listen. But there is a cost to remaining silent; silence can come off as apathy but often is considered reasonable and safe. I don't like safe, safe is survival, I am not big on surviving, never have been.

I was reading about the duty of care. Society might not hold you to any standard if quietly ignore something, but they will hold you accountable if you try. I do not know how I feel about that — extraordinary situations require an extraordinary response. I am ok with that, I will take my chances. When you asked for something, you respond, the act of asking takes a toll, you are aware of the cost. So one acts, one acts according to their values. Those values are also key to who you are — you are nothing and you are everything. The discovery of self leads to its annihilation. It is liberating.

The stories that cannot be told are often beyond those statistical ranges; they are extraordinary, they are unreal, they are exceptional, they are loved, they are cherished, and they, to a reasonable person, are unbelievable. I smile as I write this, but all of this experience of living, genuinely understanding life above what is considered average, is enriching. I have lived, lived an extraordinary life, and experienced it in all its wonderful ways. To be honest all this makes you ready to live and be ready for its conjoint twin at any moment. Living fully, truly. I do not consider it nihilistic or pessimistic but something between Stoics and Epicurean philosophy. Both Stoics and Epicureans are often misunderstood. Stoics are considered devoid of emotions; the Epicureans are all about pleasure. It is neither, that is my opinion.

I have sampled many of these philosophies to find what worked for me. What worked for my value system made me better and allowed me to live fully, without fear. Unfortunately, I am not wise enough, smart enough to have an answer to what humankind has struggled with for millennia. All of this is personal and subjective. But if you can find a reason to smile in your solitude, if you can be happy, cross happy but can reduce your suffering, be entertained by your own mind, feel comfortable in your own company, and make a choice every time to hold your values over yourself. You are ready. You will be ok. You think about what you want to leave behind, you think about what if you do not live another day, what are you leaving, suffering or calm, conflict or peace, hate or love, harshness or kindness, cold or warmth, apathy or empathy. Life gives you the opportunity to test your value system. Are you this way? Or do you say this to feel good about yourself? I love those; they are best to prove who you are and what you stand for, test through fire — ultimately, that's the only thing that matters — proving yourself to yourself. You choose to accept the reality that you might not live to see tomorrow’s sun as such is life, unpredictable and uncertain. You will not cause that to happen, as living requires courage and one should hold that as the core value. In yourself, you know the reasons, you are truthful to yourself, and you might not be able to explain that truth to a reasonable person or anyone. But you know the reason. You will not share those reasons; you do not have to unless there is something that requires that expression. Otherwise, it is best to stay silent.

On silence: most of those close to me, and I am blessed, have experienced, I do not talk; I prefer to stay quiet, and when I do talk, it is for a reason. I have thought through why I am talking and why it is critical at this time, I might have the wrong reasons, but I have thought through. I loved this phrase I heard from a very wise individual. He came and sat down next to me, He was sitting quietly, listening to a group of very chatty individuals. The more you talk, the smarter you are considered, you are seen, the politics of the social interactions, the averages have it. He was asked whether he has anything to add here. He smiled and replied.

“I will say something when I can improve the silence.”

So when you say something, write your words, and you know that you are wrong, you are perhaps not improving that silence. You are wrong, you really think, and you think, you think a lot, always, you are in your head, you make a point of finding solitude, an hour or two or a few, to think. That's the nature of the human, being wrong, always starting with that, “I am wrong, think dam it, where, how, why.” So you try not to be completely wrong, but you are wrong, we all are; you apply the law of averages, and you are wrong for those who are above; you take those who are beyond those averages, and you are wrong for the averages. So you are wrong, one way or the other. And at times, you are wrong for both, so you find yourself on an island by yourself. And then it is time for silence. But you ask out loud the world, “Do you want me to be silent?” — you do not expect a response, and you smile because you have realized that is a response. Wise remains silent, and that line between apathy and care becomes blurry.