Conversations With Children of Mars
Conversations With Children of Mars
To Love Is to Understand
In the promotion trailer for "Conversations With Children of Mars", we see this quote: "The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved." It seems that Hua did his soul-searching and decided that out of the many theories about the significance of life, to love and to be loved is what he identifies with.
But how can one be convinced that he is loved? This is such an old topic that talking about it could be boring. But do we really understand it? In my own observation, we may know about this in theory but rarely can we practice it effectively.
Obviously, being loved as a target of desire is flattering since it’s a response to, and a kind of approval of, a person based on his merits. Some people’s love is conditioned on whether their loved ones can maintain these merits and consequently it is egocentric. More often than not, the admiration of a person will evolve into a concern over their well-being, such that we would care about the pain and suffering of those we love. Over time, we grow attached to them. We worry about them, miss them, think about them, be happy for them, cheer for them, and encourage them when they stumble. Our love will gradually mature from being egocentric to altruistic, from being demanding to nurturing.
Having many, many fans, one would think that Hua Hua must have already attained his happiness by being the center of so many people’s attention and desire, and certainly a lot of fans love him as dearly as a family member. However, in the first half of the "Conversations With Children of Mars" music video, we see a metaphorical scene in which he is alone in a cave while his fans are separated from him and gazing on him from behind a transparent barrier. In the cave, the environment is dark and gloomy and Hua is confused and in pain. I can’t help wondering if this barrier has been imposed by himself, by Martians, or by both?
Do you know about my pain?
We do know that even among loving family members if there is a lack of mutual understanding, there is often a chasm between the giving end and the receiving end. If you are concerned about the well-being of those you love, but you don’t understand their vulnerability or their fear and you stay ignorant of their pain, then you may deeply offend their sense of dignity. They may feel that you have reduced their whole person to a few merits that please you and are of value to you. They may also feel that you project your own views of what is good and bad onto them and ignore their interests and needs. In all of these cases, no matter how strong your love is, it will drag down your loved ones like a burden rather than nurture them to be a better version of themselves.
Of course, sometimes, the barrier is not entirely our fault. After all, we can’t even understand ourselves completely let alone another person. So it is necessary to communicate with each other. We see that Hua Hua has decided to open up to let us know about his happiness, anger, sadness, and joy so that we can have a chance to understand his inner struggles. It’s not just a conversation with Martians, but also a plea for understanding. An appeal for the beautiful, which hasn’t been accorded for some time but is "finally favored".
"I am no longer silent because you choose to understand me"-- I think Hua’s line of lyrics is the essence of the whole song. To love is to understand. The effort in trying to understand another human being is the ultimate respect and love that we can offer. It’s about taking a person for what he is on the whole instead of distorting him to fit him into our narratives in order to please ourselves. Only through understanding, can we offer unconditional support to those we love.
You have brought light into my world
By calling out for understanding, Hua Hua bravely walks out of his cave and reconciles with that lonely and battered self treading water, who wants love yet can’t open himself up and who rejects people who come too close. "Martian Children" then reach out to him and reflect light into his world by holding up a mirror, and subsequently, his world is depicted in a warmer tone in the second half of the music video.
Children's view of the world is not tainted by ideas
Here I have to bring up the metaphor in the song title. He calls it "Conversations With Martian Children". Obviously, most Martians are not children but adults. However, only a pure and childlike mind can be observant and can take in a person in his totality. Therefore, by addressing Martians as children, he is calling out for the kind of understanding which is prejudice-free and only conceivable by a childlike mind.
Reconcile with oneself
This is indeed a first step towards the ideal of universal love. We have to reach out for mutual understanding if we want the chance to love and to be loved. Maybe most people still can’t understand each other, but there are always some who can. In sharing our own vulnerabilities, we allow other people to find resonance and strength in our struggles, and in the process, we start to look at each other as real human beings instead of being defined as a few ideas which we may or may not like.
The MV of "Conversations With Children of Mars (ET)" is produced with a warm and healing style. It records the subtle changes of Hua Chenyu's feelings inside. With the heartwarming accompany of Martians, he has become a stronger self from being seclusive and self-centered to gradually being open. "Conversations With Children of Mars (ET)" is not only a gift to his fans but more so communication with people who love his music. They are experiencing the warmth from each other in this unique time and space. The healing power to both sides is the most touching.