Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.


Posted at — Aug 10, 2020

This is part of the grateful series.

For the smell of a rose, and a nearby fire, I thank my nose.
To taste the sweetness of a mango, and the poison in a berry, I thank my mouth.
For the feeling of being embraced by a hug, and the pain of a burning flame, I thank my sense of touch.
To see all our world has to offer, and all it does not, I thank my eyes.
For hearing the whistle of a bird, and the roar of a lion, I thank my ears.

One day, I was thinking to myself, and posed myself a fairly difficult question:

If you needed to lose one of the five human senses, namely, sight, hearing, taste, smell or touch, which one would you choose?

I probably shouldn’t entertain these types of questions, but usually there’s an opportunity to learn or express gratitude in them, so I still do.

I immediately concluded that sight, taste, and touch were necessities, so I’d be picking between hearing and smell. I then quickly deduced that hearing was more important to me, of the two, so smell landed on the chopping block.

There’s definitely no right answer, and what’s interesting is, on reflection, I’d argue smell and hearing may be more critical to my survival than taste.

Perhaps it speaks more to my character, and the innate prioritization of wanting to taste, that I deemed taste a necessity.

Could I get by without taste? Perhaps, assuming I’d still have an evolutionary understanding of which foods have which qualities. Knowing which foods are poisonous would be critical to my longevity.

Nonetheless, it’s an unproductive, nonsensical question.

It’s hard to answer because I don’t know, explicitly, which roles each of the senses have played in my development, and how much I take each for granted.

It’s easy to say I can live without smell, but is it easy to do? I’d imagine it’d make it really hard to sense a fire.

I’m fortunate I don’t need to answer this ridiculous question, and perhaps further, that I don’t know how to answer it.

I’m grateful I have all my senses, especially in a world where not everyone does. All of my problems become trivial when put in the context of not having all my senses.

It goes back to performing my go-to mental exercise, outlined in this post. Traversing all the prerequisites you have, and going down the tree of things you can be grateful for.

We, as humans, have so much. We should realize it, more often.

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