Write on WordPress

Disclaimer: No, this isn’t an advertisement for WordPress.com (Why would I advertise on WordPress if you’re already on the site? It’s like a soap company asking you to wash their soaps with their soaps. Ah, not the best analogy, but nothing. Get the point.)
I’ve kind of given away what this post is intended to be about (or       indented to be about. Please appreciate the joke. PLEASE. (That is, if you’ve got it. (If not, move on.)))

It’s meta. That’s it. That’s the topic. Meta. I don’t know why I’m writing (as always, there’s some amount of self-loathing at the beginning of every post); there’s some inexplicable feeling of joy just pressing the keys on the keyboard. The sound of the fingers sinking into the keyboard against the force of the springs making their way against gravity and popping the keys back up to their intended (or       indented) height is so…othing. Reducing the unnecessary description – I love typing. Probably I love my keyboard. Or my fingers. Or just the melody.

There’s a point to writing this post – it’s to encourage people to write. Back in the days when I wasn’t an avid reader, I’d think, “Am I really missing out on life? What’s the point of literacy anyway?” I can’t stress any more on going against such a frame (or train) of thought – become literate, borrow a book (or books) and just start reading – it could be any book, by any author, and on any topic; just read. The kind of perspective change that one can go through by reading is something that cannot be put down in words; it’s something that can only be experienced, and noticed when one juxtaposes themselves with their pre-reader version.

But if one reads avidly and enjoys do so thoroughly, what’s the point of writing? Why even bother putting your thoughts out on paper or on the internet? There’s none, as such, apart from the joy of just writing your heart out. It’s similar to reading; you wouldn’t know unless you’ve done it. That’s why there exist so many blogs (akin to this one) on which people write and write and write without the expectation of getting readers or popularity; it’s purely for the joy of it. It’s also like your public literary timestamps – your worldviews, thoughts, attitude, state of mind – at the time of writing. But that’s the secondary part. Just typing away in your free time with or without substance in the articles is what your ideal source of “typing joy” should be. And, of course, if everyone wants to just read then who’ll write what people will (perhaps) read?

With the world population ever on the upward growth path, individualism attempting to catch up through social media and other means aimed at making one “stand out from the crowd”, it’s become a tussle finding a truly “unique” identity these days in the sea of humanity (a-ha, so poetic). Whatever a person may think of is probably already done by someone else somewhere else on the planet. Writing comes into picture somehow, at this point – your thoughts could be treated as your identity since you’ve been molded into what you are right now by the almost infinitely many experiences you’ve been through all your life so far – and you can express all of these thoughts pointing towards “you” through writing.

Your views may be influenced by what you’ve read, what you’ve seen, what you’ve heard, and you may resonate with someone else when they express similar views – this could also make you think that everyone thinks alike. It may be so, but when you take the entirety of your “thought world” as a single, combined entity, it turns out to be unique – no one is like you, you are like no one. You aren’t special, but you’re special, and everyone is special in their own ways, but no one is special. Confused? Get the point the way you wish to. Make me feel as though I’ve said something profound.

I love the way you’ve come down all the way through this post so far. I’d not thought of the structure, or even the idea on which to write this post – I just opened WordPress and saw a draft titled “[Meta]”, not sure what I’d saved it for. But as I said earlier, the keyboard springs are irresistible. Actually, as I type, I realize that this paragraph has become meta too. So, epic win. Point made through (?)

I don’t know how to end posts.

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Random associations

Hey, there, reader! I’m not sure if you’re hypothetical, real, someone’s ML experiment gone horribly wrong, or Google’s crawler, but I’m sure that you’re reading this text (yes, even you, you undesired machine from The Terminator (well, I should just do away with pop culture references)). Random associations? Seriously? Is that the best I could come up with on this blog no one gives a damn about? Unfortunately, yes. I am running out of “creative” ideas and am in a mode (yes, mode, not mood) to type whatever comes to mind. Well, hasn’t that always been the case? But potato.

Random associations are what we all have in our brain, and are quite well depicted (unintended?) by the music video of Do I Wanna Know? by The Arctic Monkeys – yeah, you guessed it right again – it’s the other tab that’s open in my browser window and playing that “.. ! … !… !…” sound. But oh, well, moving on…

Let me post a disclaimer here that I’m not a psychology student or something – I’m just curious about the functioning of the “brain” (in quotes because I can’t say if it actually exists). Despite the field of neuroscience having made so much progress in recent years, it’s quite mind-boggling that we still haven’t figured out how that jelly up there works. Of course, I’m not discrediting all those years of research and hard work that have gone into figuring it out; I’m just marveling at the design (if it really is a “design”). The funny thing is, we can’t ever be sure of the brain’s existence (or for that matter, our own) since we can’t really “step out” of this so-called reality and “perceive” it externally. I doubt my point has reached you clearly, but if it has, yay! In simpler words, we’re using our sensory perception (eyes) to observe their controller (the brain) under the assumption that the brain actually, physically, exists (we can never be sure since the entire world around us is a product of our senses) – what if there is nothing called the brain (or even you) and we’re just simulations…

There’s plenty of stuff on the internet to read up on these musings (another keyword(s): “infinite regress”) and there’s no point delving deeper in this post (What’s the point of this post anyway, again?). The point is, how do all the random associations in the brain originate? Through the perceived world which influences and molds our thoughts? Or is it the other way round, in that we apply “filters” first and then perceive the world? Hmm-worthy, right? It’ll be interesting to find out someday. I guess this curiosity is what drives fellow human beings like us to take up neuroscience and gain a deeper insight.

I was reading a book (pop psych reader amigos, hi-five!) on this, and I came across a very interesting concept, called priming (all due credit to that author; my almost infinite apologies that I don’t recall the name)(Seriously, I don’t). Ever wondered why so many companies put up advertisements on billboards, television shows, the ‘papers, the radio, the mobile apps, the airports…and on and on, here, there and everywhere? (Yeah, The Beatles reference, if you will) It’s precisely because of the random associations our brains make on seeing things (perceiving, rather). You might very well wonder, “LOL did they really  think I was going to fall for that?!“, on seeing some ridiculous advertisements (ridiculous being a subjective term, I’m not going to exemplify – it’s up to you) and think to yourself that never in a million years would you buy that product, and that the advertisers are just making a mockery of themselves wasting bucks and bucks on pointless advertising apparatus. But alas! If only we were that rational and consistent! The brain thinks otherwise.

Apparently, thanks to perceiving the same product H, T and E, your brain gets subconsciously molded into wanting it, and ends up making you spend some (or more than some) moolah on it. The “million years” time period of your not-buying-that-product rationality magically gets reduced to less than a million seconds, perhaps. Bam! There you go – rational on the surface, but driven by something we don’t understand underneath!

Random associations are strange – especially when manifested in the form of dreams. Now, I can say with a fairly high level of confidence that we all have “weird” dreams – that is, dreams in which you perceive things that you normally wouldn’t even think of (or couldn’t think of). You may try to conjure up some kind of creative thought right now, but yeah, when you’re in that “dream flow”, this creative thought wouldn’t stand a chance against what your brain draws up while you’re weird-dreaming. It just is so damn amazing!

Random associations make life interesting, and if we assume that this is an all-rational, all-absurd physical world in which we’re doomed to decay and wither away anyway, it is these random associations that make our lives interesting. So hooray! Random associations are something to cherish!

Random afterthought –Random – does this word have any root or is it self-descriptive?

 

random
random – why not?

No point in contemplating, but…

I’ve always wondered – how would I feel x years from now about something that I did today just out of pure instinct or whim – would I even recall doing it? I don’t know. There are so many thoughts that cross our mind when we think of performing any action – more so in case that action might lead to some embarrassment. But with such inhibitions do we stop our inner artist from liberation and restrict ourselves to being just mere numbers on the face of the planet, or does it actually lead to a safer and saner society as a whole? I mean, of course, if everyone were to act as though they had absolute free will, then I wouldn’t have the means to type all of this, or even own the laptop on which I’m typing, or maybe even wear the clothes that I’m wearing. Well, I’m digressing too much, but was there even a definite topic to this post to begin with? Or for that matter, read the topic of the blog post, for crying out loud. This is just some space on one of WordPress’s servers that is being utilized by some twenty year old kid to type some text because he ostensibly feels that doing so helps him feels “liberated.” Okay, that’s too meta. I’ll stop from digressing any further.

Back to what I was (and am) contemplating. We all know that we regret having not seized past opportunities irrespective of their outcomes – for better or for worse. We just regret being passive when we shouldn’t have been. But we generally fail to realize how drastically our lives change when we make those seemingly small decisions. Oh, yeah, you might well be thinking right now that “this guy’s just stating the obvious in a fancy way,” and guess what, you might well be right. Keep your ego aside for a while though – I’m just laying a whole lot of stress on this observation, because no matter how obvious it is, we all slip up and end up regretting making most of the decisions we make. When something unfortunate happens because of any of our decisions, we all fall into that downward spiral and think of how different things would’ve been had we done only a small bit differently. Whether this counts as self-help or not, I know not – I’m just another twentysomething who “ain’t seen nothing of the big bad world out there.” Sometimes, kids might just be right with all their naivete, polluting the turbid seas of reality that we supposedly call maturity (idiomatic much?).

Consider this situation – you’ve been working hard towards something, say, getting that job or winning that inter-University league title, or whatever. Just something which makes you feel on top of the world for the first few weeks or so and then somehow makes everything seem uncannily normal within a month. But try to imagine that moment – don’t you wish it went on like that forever? You suddenly feel that burst of confidence just flowing through your arteries and veins – all those decisions you made, all that effort you put in – it all makes sense now, magically! What a terrific person you are! How you wish people understood you more and made you their role model! (Okay, fine, that’s overdoing it.)

Alas, like it or not, everything fades away sooner than you’d imagine. That’s part of being human. You get back to where you were in terms of your “general mood” with those sinusoidal ups and downs as they were before you achieved what you did. Fine, I’ll give it to you that generally you’ll feel a bit better off about yourself for maybe a couple of months, but seriously, after some more time, it’ll all die down. I’m sounding very cynical, right? Not quite. This post, fortunately or unfortunately, hasn’t reached its end yet. It’s at a very, very personal level. This is one of those times when I’m actually very serious about what I want to say (Nah, just kidding, almost. But seriously, it is something that I wish people understood better).

People generally attribute their happiness to their achievements, successes in life – that too, rather than focusing on how well they’re doing compared to their own former selves, it’s always got to be their peers. How better off am I than him? Am I making more money than the average/median? Am I falling behind them? These questions make each one of us uncomfortable. But we so easily fail to realize that it’s a trap set by our own selves; no one ever imposed it upon us as an obligation that we have to “defeat” someone else to be “successful.” Since we all die anyway, what’s the point of such a success, in which you’re so goddamn happy at the expense of people’s happiness in general? How would the so called “happy” person feel if he were faced with the situation from the “loser’s” side? Alas, again, it’s an issue related to being human – we simply cannot think from someone else’s perspective thanks to the infinitely many mental biases and experiences that we carry in a mutually exclusive manner. We tend to view the world through our emotional tint – we’re happy, the world is happy; we’re sad, and all of a sudden, “Why is the world so gloomy today?” So, in contrast to the situation presented earlier, suppose you go through severely turbulent times – everything starts appearing dull to you. You start doubting yourself, you start doubting the world – you feel as though what you’ve been through so far was all a sham. Well, again, whether you like it or not, the world is the world as it is irrespective of what mood you’re in. It’s just that you fail to realize this fact and start getting flustered by the smallest of things. All of this is very, very obvious, ain’t it?

Well, if it were, why are you so down or excited right now? NO, don’t deny it – you’re in either one of the two moods. Pretend to be apathetic if you want to, but you very well know that I’m referring to your mood being objectively happy or sad right now – or is it that I just feel so at this hour of the night? Whatever. My point being, we tend to forget the rational thinking process that we think we follow so ardently, and get swayed by emotions too easily, too often. Had it not been the case, the world would be a much better, much more peaceful place to live in today. We just need to get a hold of our selves, and not get carried away by small things that are just transient – every achievement or failure is merely a human construct, and we ought to treat it as no more than that. That’ll make us more comfortable being the way we are, rather than each one of us striving to be someone else just to get something supposedly considered a virtue. We ought to respect more the way we currently are. Since no one lives forever anyway, what’s the point of constantly making ourselves uncomfortable when unwarranted? Easygoing, must we be, and over-thinking, stop we must.

The existential pit

Okay, I’ll admit it. I just liked the sound of the combination of the words that make up the title of this post and that is why I’ve named it so. There you go, Waywardness (yeah, with a ‘W’, you grammar pedant) exemplified perfectly. So now what? I have a post title, I am literate, I have an internet connection, and I am over-smart and arrogant – voila, a perfect combination of the ingredients required for churning out another one of those blog posts no one gives a damn about. No, not even me; I kind of get surprised on receiving a notification from my WordPress app about getting a new view (or views, perhaps) on any of my posts so far.

Currently, I am going through a phase in life (ahh, the generic teenager issues) often referred to as an existential crisis – yeah, I am just twenty years old, and I acknowledge that. You may say (in case you’re older than I am) that I am blowing things out of proportion here, or that I am not mature enough to comment on crises in life, or something similar that may just belittle my woes – and I fully respect that. You may discontinue at this point. To the others, who believe in the concept of free speech and are open-minded enough to listen to what a twentysomething has to say about what he keeps on thinking about endlessly, I would like to say that you’re continuing because you’ve been through or probably are going through a similar phase in life – after all, we’re humans, and most of us think on scarily similar lines. Let me just give a disclaimer – this post isn’t going to provide you solutions to tackle this ‘crisis,’ because, as you must have known by now, I am direly in need of one myself. It’s just that I wish to express it at some tip of the world wide web, so that later in life when I’m (hopefully) in a much more comfortable position to comment on existentialism, I’ll look back at this post and just give a smile. Again, it all relies on my living long enough, and actually reaching a ‘comfortable’ phase later on. Fingers crossed.

What bothers me most is my utter lack of ambition in life. People generally have goals, targets, perhaps direction too, in their lives. Well, not everyone, though. I wouldn’t be wrong, objectively, if I stated that there are several thousands of teenagers like me in the world who have no clue what they want from life. Heck, I daresay that very few actually have the privilege of growing up comfortably without witnessing violence or poverty around that they get enough time to think about ‘what they want from life.’ But the catch here is that one cannot simply say that because someone is poorer than them their life is worse – it may well be the other way around. When you’re born poor or live in war-stricken areas, just getting through to the next day is an uphill task – there’s always that fear of what might happen at any point. Considering this perspective, all my issues related to ‘life’ and such insecurities definitely appear minuscule – I have time to think about such stuff without having to worry whether I’ll be alive within the next couple of hours or not – I have heard this repeatedly from people, read this in books, and thought about it over and over again – but somehow this just doesn’t make things better. I still am clueless in life, and just by getting to know that people are supposedly worse off, I wouldn’t feel much better. For all you know, the people we consider to be pitiful might just be the most satisfied people on the planet! They’re human too, and they do have their own identity; the more you think of pitying them, the more you make things awkward between fellow humans. We all have a good idea about ourselves – how we think, what our instincts tell us, how we react to situations – so we need not classify the ‘others’ separately.

Back to the point, though. I feel I am falling into the ‘existential pit,’ a mindset in which everything appears dull and you question everything around – no, it’s not depression, but rather a cold approach to life. I mean, books, music and art are still enjoyable, but the generic question that ‘Why is everything the way it is?’ is just messing around with my mind. There is definitely no objective answer, and attempts to understand it all begin with ‘perhaps.’ Why do people work? Why are some parts of the world at war? Why don’t people simply talk over matters and sort issues out? Why is it that hard work is considered a virtue? Don’t we all die anyway? So why do we put ourselves in discomfort throughout our lives? Just so that in the last years of our lives we can be proud of our achievements?

I guess you’ve got the hang of it – it’s just such questions that are wreaking havoc in my mental machinery. In fact, this entire post was born of a wayward idea because I wanted to try my hand at writing (typing, technically). So, figuratively, I am simply drifting in life and am feeling quite aimless right now. All my childhood ambitions seem to be mere fakes, as I have quite accepted that no one is ‘meant to be’ how they are or ‘born to do’ whatever their ‘true calling’ is – it all seems to be a decade-long delusion. So, at this point, it seems impossible to tell how I’ll even feel or think after half an hour – waywardness, mate.

Cynical? Depressing? Maybe. But that is how many of us think. Can’t help but utter these words out on some blog post.

 

Regret?

Do I feel bad I started this blog? Not yet. Will I “regret” having started this blog sometime later in the future when I’m much more mature and busy with “life?” Will this blog evoke feelings later in the future akin to what teenagers feel when they go their old “stupid” photos and texts? Might just, as our state of mind is nothing but transitory. But will I raise the question to myself, “Why did I ever do that?” I’m certain I won’t.

Why is it so, you may ask (don’t, actually). It is very simple – think of your brain making me (even you?) live in the moment at every instant of my life. It is stopping me from quantizing time into minutes and seconds so that I can treat the available continuum as being something that I’ll have indefinitely till I breathe my last. It is making me witness everything around myself, at this very moment. It is forcing me to stop, take a moment, step back and feel everything around – the air we breathe, the white noise, the train of thought (yeah, you guessed that right, if you did – I’ve been inspired by some Zen Buddhism literature I recently came across and had a glance of romanticism at).

It isn’t very difficult to conceive, actually – since human beings are at least an extinction period away from inventing, or even coming close to inventing a time machine (no, not a clock, smartypants), one can be easily assured that the time that they let pass by cannot be got back. Now didn’t I go all fancy there instead of just writing, “Time and tide wait for no man”? I didn’t. If I were to put everything coldly without attaching my literary emotions to it, wouldn’t this blog be duller than it already is? Wouldn’t my hypothetical followers be disappointed and prevent me from even imagining having followers? I just felt it was worth spending time, writing all my mental jelly that oozes out without voice or gestures. My point being? There is no point regretting and fretting over any goddamn thing that happens. Should’ve studied for an exam or prepared for that date? Should’ve. Did you? Perhaps not, else you’d be busy with that instead of coming over to this section of the internet and reading this text. But can you do anything about it? Of course, you can or you cannot. Ambiguity is something you’ll have to deal with on this blog – just like my existence. Anyway, as I was saying,

problem

Wait, is that all I wanted to say? Is it the end of this blog post? Pretty much. Why did I write so much excreta above, then? Scroll to the top of the page and read the title of the blog post. Actually, don’t scroll. Just keep reading. Before I move any further, let me not take due credit from the creator(s) of the above illustration – it’s one of the images that dear Google throws up when you search for “problem in life can you do anything about it” or something like that. C’mon, at least I’m not taking credit for it.

So, before we depart, let me come full circle to the topic of regret – just don’t. Everyone dies, and whether they believe that they’ll be reborn or become one with God or just enter another phase of the universal consciousness – they’ll die. Death cannot be escaped – even Wikipedia knows that. So whether you died filled with regrets or completely satisfied, it really wouldn’t matter much – you’ll be a corpse, at least in this perceived physical world. So why make yourself feel worse off than you already apparently are (alliteration, meta)? Just think of bygones being bygones, and work on what you can do to turn your car back in your garage (you really thought I’d mention some cliched thing like “on the highway of life” or something like that, didn’t you? Hopeless.) while it’s still having you at the helm. Just don’t regret. Do what is in your power once you’ve realized what is and what is not in your capacity. Just keep in mind – people have no clue what you fret over, and you have no clue how they think – so assumptions are bound to be made both ways, but since you know your side, you also know that you can work at least on that front and try to make things “better.”

Do not regret reading this post either, hypothetical readers. It was well worth the lesson that you must now turn off your system and get back to physical life. You definitely don’t need to hear that from a twenty-year-old, do you?

Perspectives and Perceptions

Hackneyed as it may sound, this post is about my irritation with the way people think of themselves. Many a teenager must have ranted about how they’re frustrated about the way the world works, raised questions like “Why can’t everyone just be like me and think the way I do?” or ended up writing posts the way I am writing, ostensibly as a personal blog but wanting to seek attention from across the world, in hopes of becoming popular. Naah, just kidding. I write these posts just to relieve my brain of storing too much data. But that’s not the point. Nothing is the point. We are all nothing here. We all have this conception of our “self” which dictates everything, right from when you take a dump to when you pick your nose, whether publicly or privately, whether inadvertently or consciously, and the “self” does it in a smooth way. It always ends up convincing you that “you”, I mean the “self,” did the right thing. Cheeky, aren’t you?

We are all yearning for something. Always. When in a crowd, we want solitude. When alone, we want company. Our “self” always makes us feel that we lack in something, and at times – or most of the times – that we’re superior to everyone around us. Both these views are detrimental to us in that we start developing a false version of reality around us and attach to things easily. But put it in a cold light – what do you get? The world doesn’t care about anyone in particular. It isn’t angry at you, it isn’t there to please you, and it certainly doesn’t have any feelings for you. Your personification of the universe won’t yield you any benefit, so it’s better to just take it “as is” and move on in life. Had a rough childhood? Going through tough times? Not finding a job? Well, it makes me sad since I could probably sympathize, or empathize in some cases. But does it affect the universe? As cold as it may sound, it doesn’t. Your problems are only yours, and probably shared by a few human beings around you. Suddenly finding the world very bright after you got that promotion? It’s not so bright to everyone around you. Again, your mind just playing around with you.

So through this post, do I intend to say that we must all let go of our emotions and be completely cold-hearted? Should I just be apathetic to your getting sacked during a layoff period? Should I just not give a damn that you created a supposedly marvelous painting out of leftover paint? Of course, just like the answer that cries itself out loud to any generic rhetorical question, it’s a strong “No” to the above questions and other such related arguments. We are all human (no Siri or Cortana, neither of you. “OK, Google!”), and we all have pangs of accumulated emotions bursting out and some corner of the brain indulging in creativity while existing on this planet (maybe on Mars too, in a few years). It’s absolutely normal to attach to certain objects, events, people or even surroundings. But taking it a notch overboard doesn’t help. We obviously can’t be “cold” to everything around us, but we must ensure that we reduce our tendency to be emotional about any damn thing we can think of. I agree that every human being is unique (well, to an extent); some more emotional than others, and some not at all. But I believe letting emotions grip us never did us any “good.” All the wars that have been fought, all the cross-border tensions that exist, and even all the sadness that we feel daily has got something to do with our emotions.

We can’t simply let emotions keep on getting the better of us. We must realize that we live in a world that’s defined by our five senses and each one of us thinks of things that we probably can’t think of. That’s where this post’s title also features – perspectives and perceptions. Everyone has a different perspective of the world, and everyone perceives things in their own way. There is no “absolute” world out there – it’s just a product of what our senses interpret. For all you Star Wars fans out there:

“Only a Sith deals in absolutes.”

And human beings certainly aren’t Siths. It is no wonder that so many people become existential and start hunting for the “meaning of life.” We can never know if it’s all here as a matter of chance, if there’s a creator out there, or if we even exist. Everyone has their own set of beliefs, experiences, and reasoning. It is best if we all just agreed that each one of us is different in our own way and sees the world from our own perspective. It is as simple as that. Every problem in the “world” is a manifestation of a very fundamental issue that bothers us – be it in the form of mistrust, arrogance, emotions, or whatever. Since man is a social animal and can’t live on his own, it’s implicit that he behave such that he keeps himself and the community in a way that favours coexistence. Since we’ve proceeded in time to a world which has so many issues, it’d be best if we all turned to our personal sides and hunted for the problems that have arisen due to personal issues. You’d be surprised.

I’m Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I’m Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could’ve Been Any Clearer
“If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make A Change”

Cheesy as it may sound, the message is very clear. I’m going to involve pop culture references in each post henceforth. And no, I haven’t been randomly influenced by popular culture around me so as to write this post based on what I’ve seen or read. It is the outcome of thinking and wondering why things are the way they are. It is just that people don’t think much about things.

People of my age group – ’90s born

“Ambition should be made of sterner stuff!”

The statement that you see above was used by Marc Antony, a devout follower of the great Julius Caesar, as put by William Shakespeare (if you know not who he is, thou shall’st open thy mind and Googl’st him) in his play with the same title as the latter. Through the above line, Marc Antony wishes to express his frustration over Caesar’s posthumous reputation as an ‘ambitious’ leader who was led by his whims to conquer territories rather than by a desire to serve the common public. This statement kind of haunts me today as I juxtapose myself with the world’s teenagers of my age group. Ambition is more often than not treated as a virtue by the elderly and as a ‘driving force’ by today’s future leaders. But, as you might have guessed what might well be the topic of this post, is the question of ambition really being a virtue when viewed from a broader perspective.

WARNING: If you are an ambitious person who’s set out to ‘rule the world,’ your thinking might well be changed forever in the case that:

  • You actually find this post on the virtual sea, commonly referred to as ‘the internet’
  • You have time to let go of your ambition for a while and read something utterly worthless (no, I’m not buying sympathies, thank you)
  • I manage to pull off this post well and drive home the point of it effectively enough

Since my brain, just like millions of other Gen Y teenagers’, drifts from one topic to the other with every passing second, I’ll find it hard to stick to the point. So, please, bear with me, dear reader(s), if any. Actually, I am writing this to myself, though a visitor or two wouldn’t bring much harm.

It appears as though the concept of hard work, kindness, manners, and other such things that we’ve been taught since birth as being the ‘right’ things in life are genetic in nature. Invariably, almost everyone goes through the same initial phases in life, at least in a civil society, wherein you grow up learning all kinds of ‘social norms’ from your parents till around a double-digit age, until puberty strikes. Then you go crazy, expressing your irritation with all that parents’ affection, you start feeling independent and wanting to set out on your own since you’re in control of your life. Your hormones start playing with your brain, your ego develops as much as your body does, and you become arrogant. But people around you tell you it’s just part of growing up, and soon you’ll be mature enough, and behave in a civilized manner. But no, you rebel. You just rebel. You stay out till late night, you get involved in fights, verbal if not physical, just to vent your hormonal frustration and to show that you have an ego of your own. Only after you reach maybe 20 do you realize that it was all unwarranted.

So, in all of this, where does ambition come into picture? It probably crops up just after puberty, when the so-called transition from childhood to adulthood is complete and you look around for colleges to enroll in courses that you supposedly were born for doing. Once you’re in college, you start feeling that you need to ‘leave your mark’ on the planet, that you are ‘special’ in your own ways and can ‘make a difference’ in the lives of people. Ahh, so hackneyed, these phrases, but still used, nevertheless. It makes me wonder very often. Our parents’ generation, the Millennial one, had a completely different set of circumstances when they grew up – the technology wasn’t so sophisticated back then, the Cold War was still a thing, and the internet was just cooking in one of the DARPA labs. Things have changed. Changed a lot since then – nowadays, you’d find it hard to trace a literate teenager who isn’t on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest and the like. But this is just one small part of the sea change. The world population has probably doubled; you see too many people on the streets these days – but that’s beside the point. A major impact of this has been on the social environment – earlier, if someone said that they wanted to make a difference and come up with something revolutionary, people would believe them as it was believable. But today, if someone were to say the same thing, they’d be rest assured that it was already implemented in some other part of the world.

Now, I’m not saying that research is utterly useless – that is a different issue altogether. What I am saying though is that youngsters expect too much from “life” these days. Our parents were brought up in relatively humbler environments and that has probably gone a long way in their being able to cope with difficult circumstances. But for our generation, since we’ve been offered almost everything on a ready-made platter, we have never gone through the hardships that our parents have. And if you were to say that “ultimately it’s all the same across generations,” I’d like to remind you that our grandparents’ generation has seen one of the worst wars humanity has ever witnessed – circumstances were even worse for them. But since then, humanity has come a long way and probably it’s at the peak of what could be convenience, in general. You get everything at your fingertips these days. But, I digress. My point here is that since we’ve had such comfortable lives, we expect “success” to come to us as easily as our lives have been. But, considering so many millions of copies of ourselves spread throughout the world, is this a realistic scenario? I would like to be pragmatic here and think that it’s not going to be easy leaving a mark on humanity as an individual. Not to say that “it’s all pointless anyway, why bother?” but that we need not attach ourselves too easily to the definition of “success,” but rather try our best, and if it doesn’t work out, just accept it and move on in “life.” We think of ourselves as being too special, even though we know there are a million other people exactly like us throughout the world.

If you’ve got my point, Hooray! If not, Google a few keywords and get the idea through. That is what matters, not my ego.

Ego: What did you just say?

Me: It’s all right. No one’s reading us anyway.