On Reality

This is a revised version of a post that first appeared on my Facebook Timeline on the 24th of December, 2015.

​Reality: we often mis-define the word. The truth is, no one can define reality. At least not completely. Reality is greater than we can ever imagine – and this is where the problem lies: we always imagine reality, and because our imaginations are products of our knowledge, there’s a limit; a boundary. It’s like drawing a line on the ground with a chalk and saying: ‘Look Mr. Reality, you can’t go beyond this line.’ 

A Yoruba proverbs says: ‘Àì rìn jìnà làì r’ábuké òkęrę’, which translates loosely into: ‘A man that hasn’t travelled far will not have seen a hunchbacked squirrel.’ To be able to imagine something, you must first have an idea, no matter how little, of that thing. To be clear, I’m not asking us to stop imagining reality – it’s the only way we can attempt to fathom a bit of what it is – but instead, give ourselves more to imagine, expand our knowing. In the preface of his new book Known and Strange Things,Teju Cole writes: ‘…we are creatures of private convention. But we are also the ways in which we enlarge our coasts.’

As much as it holds possibilities, reality also holds ‘impossibilties’, but we cripple it, instead of letting it soar free. That’s why we say ‘but that’s not possible’ – and there’s great fallacy in that statement. In reality, as in faith, nothing is not possible!  Instead of being quick to wave off strange things, why not try to understand it first. Why not say – instead of ‘but that’s not possible’ – say: ‘how’s that possible?’ Maybe we can’t understand everything, but we can try. We can keep an open mind.

P.S.: If you disagree with me, let me know. After all, it’s
not impossible that I might be wrong.


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