Patterns Drawn by Lives

Yıldız Çetintaş
4 minutes

In the first days of school, in my new classrooms, I usually start the lesson by talking about the story of Little Red Riding Hood. The children answer all the questions I ask about the fairy tale without thinking too much. Where Little Red Riding Hood went or what happened to her on the way…

They don’t realize it themselves, but all the answers they give me are some kind of information, even if it is simple, and they don’t try very hard to find it. Then we try to think together about how they can remember them so easily. Why do they remember all the details of a fairy tale when they have forgotten the topic of their last history lesson last year?

There is more than one reason for this, of course. But the main reason must be the issue of “integrity”. If I bring a handful of colored beads into the classroom and scatter them around and ask them where the red ones are, they will spend a long time wandering around the whole classroom trying to find them. Just as they search for information that is scattered in their minds. But if I bring them back on a string, it will be much easier to find what they are looking for.

Texts that have a beginning and an end, i.e. a coherent whole, also make learning easier. This understanding carries with it all the knowledge that the text encompasses. Whether it is the field of our education or the whole of our lives. A link between topics or events that connects them. , something is being told to us through this thread of continuity. This thread is not always so obvious and visible. Most of the time, they are waiting for the effort to show up. In the holy books, too, we often see stories used as a form of narration. This must be one of the most effective methods for the retention of learning.

There is also a connection between all the little stories we read or live. In one of his articles, the esteemed writer Sadık Yalsızuçanlar compares the seemingly independent narratives in the Qur’an to the stars in the sky, and mentions that all of these stars make up the firmament. It’s like a way of expressing the infinite with the finite. When lines are drawn between the stars and connected, some shapes that make sense to us is also starting to emerge. The way to understand the small is to establish its relationship with the whole of which it is a part.

Today, modern life has emphasized the individual in every aspect. His rights, his freedoms, his feelings… These strong emphases have alienated and isolated modern man, who thought he was liberated, from the sema of which he was a part. As mankind has been hurtling left and right in the vacuum of space, it has begun to feel like it doesn’t belong anywhere. This approach, which has its roots in the Enlightenment, paved the way for the individual to see himself as a little prince in the nation states that were established after the collapse of the monarch empires. Unable to feel that he was part of the family, neighborhood, society and even the universe into which he was born, he began to watch the sky from his own well. So much freedom has turned into so much loneliness. Too many rights have also burdened human beings with too many responsibilities. Feeling like the owner of everything brought with it the need to solve everything. This put new problems on the table. However, the way to understand the part is through its relationship with the whole.

Only when the individual strengthens his or her relationship with the realm will it be possible for him or her to feel his or her own existence and its limits. The way to understand ourselves, to value and love ourselves, is to accept the whole we are in and to be able to love, which is the next step. The neighbor across the street, the boy we bumped into on the subway, the grocery store we stopped by… Each one is a part of the firmament in which we live. The lines drawn between them are the relationships we have with them. We are all painting a picture of our own lives. On the other hand, we create patterns of other lives. But it is said that in order to see the picture clearly, you have to look at it from a certain distance. Neither too close to get lost in it, nor too far away to notice it. The journey of life must exist to find this balance.

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