Playing under protest

There's a term in baseball called playing under protest. What happens is that a rule is incorrectly applied and the manager of a baseball team protests. If the officials do not side with him, then the team formally protests, but the game continues. They are playing under protest. And the League office will review the game afterwards, and provide an ultimate judgment.

My life has been one long game under protest. When I was younger, I had planned to kill myself. That was the plan. But instead, I was called, By God Himself. Most people wait lifetimes for such a calling. However, I was disappointed. I did not want to live any longer. I didn't want to continue on the path that I was going. Instead, I would push forward, sent on a mission that I didn't ask for.

If I had to play, then I would be a doctor. I was asked to care for the people of this world, and I would do that through medical science. That was my calling. I worked hard for it. I got my MD. And I am still playing this game of life, achieving all kinds of notable things, doing all kinds of good works. I have provided lifesaving care to the sick, I have held the hands of the dying, comforted those in sorrow, and fought against injustice and inequity in the medical system. I have used my office to care for these corporeal vessels, gifts to us from God, and I have done so without judgment, indignation, or evangelization. I have done good things for this world in my life.

But I didn't want to live, and so far, I have yet to find a reason to continue living. Oh, I'm not depressed, and I'm not going to kill myself now. But I find no value, meaning, or satisfaction in my life itself. I love my work. My work is valuable and meaningful, and I am exceptionally good at it, but it is the task that was demanded of me. So, I continue under protest, hoping that at the end of this, I might get an apology or at least an acknowledgment that my protest had merit.


Nikhil Autar said...

Hey man,

I commented on your last post too - and wanted to let you know I'm gonna be writing a post up soon about my experiences of depression and suicide. All my posts on my blog are focused on giving others a way out of it too - so a lot of the things I'll talk about in that post, I'm sure you'll be able to use to make your life seem more worthwhile - as it seems you're finding it less and less so here. When I do - I'll let you know. We have to set ourselves a purpose in life... we're human - so we're ultimately doomed to higher thinking and the ability to question our presence, worth and purpose.

People use religion to fill that gap - as you have. Some people throw themselves into their family, their careers or in pursuit of other things like women, money, power, fame. And those things may work.

The purpose I set myself was to help others.

Not just because it's a good thing to do and I want to do it. But because unlike those others, the smile you put on someone else's face can never be taken away from you, can never be doubted or made to seem hollow or baseless. If our existance all boils down to a few chemical reactions... that we're rigged to procreate and that hits of dopamine in our brains keep us wanting to do that... why not do it in the way that's most rewarding, yet sustainable?

The only thing that can make helping others seem hollow is when you feel like you're doing enough. That thought - that all you're doing is inconsequential in the big scheme of things. It's futile. Useless.

When that happened to me - I started to really question my very purpose and reason behind living... as you are now. But when I took a step back, and questioned why I was feeling that way about it - I realised that I should be content with what I've done so far - with the things I've done to make my own corner of the world better. Because I definitely have changed the lives of a few.
I had to keep making it better - and eventually expand my corner of the world to one as large as I can. But in the meantime - I realised I needed a back-up. Something in life that made me want to live, soemthing I could enjoy no matter what. And for me - that was just learning. About anything and everything. Especially just lavishing being a part of nature; a tiny cog in a huge machine that kept churning and churning leading to all the sensations we feel... and learning how it works. I expressed that through my fishing.

Feel free to chat to me. You've seen my blog before - I've contacted you on twitter, and my facebook page is .

mimz said...

You're alright. God bless you. :)

Anonymous said...

You wrote that you aren't going to kill yourself "now." Seems like you've decided it's an option and are waiting for the right set of circumstances.

Also, you've written about being lonely and isolated by your profession/locale/ethnic background. You're loyal to your patients, but you need to get yourself someplace where you can enjoy your own life. Easier said than done, but do you want to live wondering if today is "now"?