My daily work involves editing: I sit and sift through content, rewording stories, deleting or adding text, trying to make sense of words and incidents.
But editing is not limited to work. It is something all of us are doing consciously or unconsciously, at every moment to better understand our world.
We interpret incidents based on an internal ‘style sheet’ or ‘program code’ created by the sum total of our experiences and our mood at any given time. And being humans, we also change, so our templates change, and hence, our views; we are hardly constant.
We also edit incidents to benefit our ego and perceptions. I edit the narrative of my mother’s passing on everyday. So, there are days when I feel that whatever happened was for the best, that mom is at peace now, after facing so much pain and indignity. But then there are also days when I am utterly lost and can’t help wishing that she were around, that she had hung on despite all her problems, to just make everything alright. There are times when I feel confident that she must be resting in peace now and other times when I feel agitated and believe that she can never be happy away from her family. With no easy answers, I am sure I will be oscillating between these thoughts for a long time.
We are not really creatures of reason, no matter how much we claim to be so. The world is a complex, unpredictable entity which throws us uncertain elements at every twist and turn, and trying to rationalise it is a futile exercise.