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How Cecil’s Death Opened My Eyes to an Evolutionary Juncture of Humanity



A lion named Cecil gets killed. Not for food. Not with monetary aims. But for mere pleasure. The killing happens in a remote jungle in Zimbabwe. But the story gets out. And it spreads like wildfire. A massive wave of protest against the inhuman behaviour of a human being rises on the internet. The tale roars with pain and agony and the guilty killer is thrown into the light immediately. Now his crime is no more a priceless possession (as he expected it to be) but a shameless mark on his whole life and he faces crucial repercussions in this aftermath.

The whole incident brings before our eyes two major points concerned with our evolution as human beings. The first is the expansion that our ability to communicate. Each one of us has evolved today as a storyteller and now we efficiently gather, share and evoke results through our stories- thus breaking the barriers of space virtually. This is happening in a way that wasn’t even imagined a century ago.

The second aspect that comes before our eyes is a decaying yet alive primitive wave of thought that the human race is superior to the rest of the World. We still tend to believe that we possess the right to kill for mere satisfaction of the still lingering animal instincts.

And when we keep these two aspects side by side, our whole evolution looks back at us with a smirk of irony.

We humans have somehow not evolved above the idea that we are beings who are superior to the rest of the nature. And our ego expansion has not stopped here. We don’t even tend to realize that our existence depends upon the universe around us. We somehow  continue to silently believe that we as creatures could outlive all that is around us. Somehow we expect to exist even without the space around and even without the existence of time.

And the rapid expansion of the internet solidifies this belief of human beings. Today a lion gets slaughtered at one part of the Globe; and on the other end I not only come to know about it, but walk ahead and observe the situation through my vision and raise my concern in front of people scattered around randomly. And I do this right here from my living room. I contribute to a story and expand in space- but I rarely move.

The more fascinating angle to the whole incident is that my contribution to the story of Cecil is immortal and shall resonate not only on the internet but on individual fragments of consciousness sprinkled throughout humanity. This also helps me solidify my belief in the idea that we are all invisibly connected by threads that have woven up our whole existence as a single unit. But then again as I float and glide on this realization, I come face to face with the brutality of human actions.

If I believe in the oneness of my existence, how could I ignore the worth of a life and do something so heinous. This maybe is an outcome of our disconnection with our own self. I recently came across a cartoon that depicted the evolutionary steps and we could see the evolution till a human being. And then ahead of our eyes, there are empty stairs and yet we stand immobile right there believing that this is the end.

We as human beings own the capacity to become something more. For the fascination of it we could call the next step of evolution to be that of superhumans or demi-gods or even Gods. But we do not care about it much and are satisfied with the little manhood that we posess.

And for us to evolve to higher stages, we need to look closely into our own selves and make conscious decisions to uplift our existence. We surely need to feed our minds with silence and look beneath the hidden veils of time and space. As mentioned in the theory of Vedanta in the ancient Indian Scriptures, we must dissolve the illusion of separateness and try to merge into the oneness of our existence. And the only way to achieve this oneness is through conscious acts of love, care and compassion. And not through brutal acts of hunting and savage expansion of worthless trophies.

The death of Cecil is just one of the numerous cases that happen around us. This one happened to fall into light and gathered attention. But there are yet many weeping tales where humanity is walking backwards in the evolution of its consciousness.

But then I tend to believe that there is hope in every fragment of existence. Talking through the filter of human reason if a person commits a crime out of circumstances- he could be forgiven. And even if this forgiveness does not rise up from a huge number of individuals, there would be a little portion of people who would justify it. Just like the case of terrorism where select individuals tend to believe that the terrorists are carrying out the work of the almighty himself through the bloodshed.

And then when we try to think about this whole issue of what is called ‘Trophy Hunting’, I don’t even see a number as large as the ones supporting terrorism and hence a wave of relief patches me up. And then when the internet raises concern and I see people protesting with their intellect – by writing blogs, sharing opinions and imaginatively sending stuffed toys at the doorsteps of the dentist guilty of killing Cecil- I feel hope.

And this hope, for me at least, is a sign that we are evolving. This is a hint that we are walking in the right directions. We might not state whether our tomorrow waits with Superheroes or Gods, the possibility of a brighter now brings a smile onto my face.

Featured image: “Cecil” by BRENT STAPELKAMP
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