These are my thoughts and these are not based on any scientific knowledge. So consider the matters here as my opinion. I haven’t figured out yet, and let me know if any of you have, but so far I have seen that people have three major lines of thoughts concurrently moving inside them. First is the line of thought that keeps saying they have to stay tall in their social presence. Second is that they want to have to maintain that height, for which, obviously, they will have to keep making money.
This line of thought is even prevailing, because it demands anything and everything. The third line of thought is about their personal, I would say core, interest. This demands time, and effort, which conflicts with one of the other lines. I am going to elaborate them a little more below.
When I said ‘staying tall in social presence’, my indication is towards that society that we create for ourselves. Let me explain with an example. I joined law school back in 1994 after I got through my high school. My society at that time was my school and the families whose children were around me, attending same or nearby schools.
I cared about them, I valued their achievements, their downfalls and their sorrows. Somehow, I wanted to become like one of my teachers, or I wanted to look like one of my friends, or I wanted to spend time without even caring about anything. Yes, that was my society.
I maintained my presence in that society, by caring about them, by showing them what I am worth for them. I know a lot sounds common here for all of us. But lately i realized that your society was never my society and my society were never yours. I perceived my surroundings as my society and you did yours. However, I didn’t know at that time that I could change the whole society by changing myself.
I could actually make a completely different society for myself. However, that is not as simple as I wrote here. It needs time and effort to change things that matters. However, a simple example is changing the job. When you switch your profession, your whole society changes.
‘Maintaining the height in the society’ is the key and the most prevailing line of thoughts. I was a simple girl, tomboyish. My aim was to become like a boy, most probably my brother or his friends, who could ride a motorbike, drive a car, watches wrestling, plays cricket on the streets with friends, swims in the river and so on. These were completely opposite to any girl’s social practices then. However, I did all of the above I mentioned. My challenge, or at least the one that I perceived as, was to stay tall there on those activities.
If I was playing cricket, I would want to make a sixer, or if I was balling, I wanted to bold the opponent every time i balled. Obviously, I was not earning money by doing these activities, but I perceived that I would stay tall if I performed the best in what I did. This applied in all aspects of my life until now. Likewise, I see a lot of people who work really hard to maintain their social height.
Since now we have to make money for living, unlike the time when parents used to provide one with, earning money has become our niece. Whatever we do, we keep thinking that we have to maintain our status, mainly in terms of earning, if not uplifting it to the next level. For example, before entering into law practice, a law student works for $15/$20 an hour in a retail store or as an assistant in a law firm. But after becoming registered in the Bar, the hourly fee goes to a minimum of $200 an hour. Maintaining that becomes the matter of challenge.
This becomes possible only if we put a 100% in everything we do in that path. The third concurrent thought, that I am going to talk about below is the one that gets compressed in this process of attaining results in maintaining that height.
The final and pressing line of thought is the one that should matter the most, “becoming what I wanted to become”.
It is not easy to figure out what I want to become. Most probably there are many choices out there and picking one considering the limited knowledge we get on that is really hard. However, I have seen some people who are very clear on this. For instance, in South Asian society, by this I mean at least in Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, parents want their children to become a doctor, an engineer, a scientist, a lawyer, or a professional in other fields such as business or commerce. Entering into government service is also considered a proud matter. While growing up, I also considered that becoming a lawyer was what I wanted to be. I gave the best I could to come through that and achieve those moments that mattered.
I was clear on what I wanted, or at least I thought I was clear, until I realized that even becoming something is not completely fulfilling. There are another layers of challenges waiting after attaining that level that you set back then as your goal. In between all this, I sometimes felt I lost myself. I am the one who still want to be careless the way I was in my early days, but I cannot anymore because I have to care about a lot.
The first ding of the SMS I receive makes me anxious about what it could be. An email from the School makes me worried about the assignment that is due. This list can go on and on, and I know that is what you have on your plate too. In between this, all i remember is I wanted to become a lawyer, I became that lawyer, and now I want to become the dreamer I was before, when I used to dream of becoming a lawyer.
Take this piece of writing as a matter that might help you consider these things and slow down and look back to what and where you actually belong. Keeping that in mind, progress is what we all have to make and all the three layers of thoughts, in my opinion, have equal values in life.
Sadhana G. Bhetuwal
२०७७ भाद्र २१, आईतवार प्रकाशित