[WIWTS] Choices We Get – Careers

This is the age of technology. This is the age of progress. This is the age of future. This is also the age of unemployment. This is also the age of burnt out and disgruntled youth. This is also the age of suffering, both mental and physical. All of these are the truths of our generation.

The world is completely stupefied in how to handle the problem of the working population and the ‘job’. There are sections of the world where people find little or no choices in what they do to earn. The opportunities available to them are not even enough to fill the stomachs of all those who depend on them. And the cost of such jobs is too high on the people’s minds. Some are forced to sell whatever dignity they barely held on to for so long while others lose sight of their own identity, theirs minds too repulsed by their present to even risk recalling the past.

Then there are those who have way too many opportunities. Not everyone knows what he/she is meant to do on this planet and though there are some who, with a bit of luck, find the most suited work, there are many who live and die in unfulfilled lives. Not all are self-aware enough or talented enough to be able to make the right choice. And in the times when education has become a common man’s polio, the need of getting things right in the first time is even higher.

And, when we move across the Pacific from our current site of observation to the south-east Asia – I am getting to India, of course – I find the people stuck in a strange mix of the two scenarios. Since childhood, the youth is being told – or at least, it is made clear in other ways that are equally strong – that social status matters. That the opinion of the people around you, for some reason, is worth just as much as your personal satisfaction. And so, when the time comes for this youth to make a choice of their future occupation, there is only a handful of choices that really matter. In words deceptively casual, in the change in mannerisms around other people and in countless other ways, it is made clear that only certain choices would be acceptable.

There are some (in comparison to the entire population) who choose a different route. But even they don’t succeed in silencing the looks. They are fortunate to have enough strength to ignore them. But the truth of the generation is not many are strong enough. The fear of failing in making a new way weighs heavily on the mind of those who fight against the idle jabs of overwhelmed. Everyone has a weak point and when everyone seems to be taking a shot, someone’s bound to hit a nerve. Because we are all perverted enough to be willing to inflict misery.

But what I preach in Indian context isn’t really one bound by the lines we draw on pieces of paper. It’s in every culture, for the ‘status’ is a thing everyone lusts after. People influence the choices of the younger generation, whether it be under the guise of ‘safe’, ‘respectable’ or something else or in outright statements. The people are bound by the choices in the dreams of a better future. We just don’t realize that the global dream of having a good time is already shattered. There’s no waking from this nightmare. It has already become our waking reality. And the way we are right now, we are destined, it seems, for us to guide the young ones similarly.

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[What I Want to say…] Indian Herd

One of the many reasons why I started to blog (or more specifically, post the articles in the section [ABANDONED]  or [POTENTIAL]) was my desire to put my words out into this digital landscape. Ideas are lost because they remain unspoken and I have no doubt that many others have made posts similar to this on this vast Internet. Perhaps people even stumble upon them occasionally but mostly these end up forgotten. But if it exists, then there’s hope – no matter how small – that someday it might get notice.

It is with these intentions of making this a reminder and to put this out for someone to notice, I begin this series of posts.

The title ‘Indian Herd’ sounds strange but look closely at the mindset of the masses and you’ll see that it is a herd mentality. What one preaches, others follow. The society preaches that only certain career routes are admirable, there’s little or no hesitation in following others. The society calls that a certain practices or beliefs are holy – even if they might go against the concept of kindness and understanding – and there’s little doubt.

Few rise amidst the masses and these have fought against the herd mentality. These people are either received as an ‘inspiration for a generation’ or threatened and humiliated for their thoughts. Personal opinion is personal opinion and though it is ideal to debate and argue, violence erupts more often than not. This too is a herd mentality. Look at the records, both large scale and small, and there are many people – though only a small fraction – who stirred the pot. It gives hope. But it is also a lie. A particular thought is as likely to breed extremists as any other. And often, a large number of the people who caused a stir were just that… Extremists in their own way. Some are even worse, causing ripples for the sake of their own 15 minutes of fame. And all this has breed something far worse in the population than just simple herd mentality. Indian population is more like an indifferent herd.

There are people vying for change. Some have even been successful, to various extent. But most of us don’t care anymore. We are too used to seeing a new person take up the spotlight that we dismiss even those who matter because we believe they’re simply looking for their own moment of glory. Tell me, does waving a hand at the camera as a part of the crowd really that worthy of bragging about in front of neighbors for weeks? No one cares, at least not past the initial second of awe and jealousy.

I have ranted so much but what does it matter? Because the truth is that no solution appears to be good enough. Every person we see as a potential revolutionary gets lost under the schemes of corrupt and their politics (not the political system’s politics but the scheming and deception and backstabbing in general). The only one that seems to hold merit is for the rich to step in with absolute seriousness. Money is power and power talks. Power opens doors for the changemakers to bring about a revolution.

What I say is not that change cannot be brought without the intervention of the rich. That’s a lie. It would be difficult but it’s still possible. But with the support of the rich, there won’t be people who give up due to lack of resources. There will be a reason to not worry at the sight of obstacles. With the help of rich, it will just be easier. And in a complicated cycle, this ranting turns back to the core issue that holds everyone, rich and poor, back from being involved. Nobody seems to care anymore. We are all just too indifferent now.

So what I want to say to anyone listening is to take a chance. History is the witness that the masses can bring about greatest of changes. All we need is a person who stays visible as a visionary under whom people can unite. One who cannot be pulled down by the schemes of the wicked. And one who makes everyone care about this world we live in.

And that’s the rub, ain’t it? Because the people of the world are like a herd. And we just don’t care anymore. (Plus what I called for above is perfection. A kind of it actually that is only just an illusion.)