We’ve all heard that story where half a glass of water is put in front of an optimist, a pessimist, a realist and an opportunist, right? If not, the story ends with a note: “Dear optimists, pessimists, and realists. While you were busy arguing about the glass of water, I drank it. Sincerely, the opportunist.”
It might seem like I’m about to do a piece on opportunists but the story was just to show that we humans love generalizing things, don’t we? No matter what it is, we organize and classify it. This works for most things but the mistake was- we proceeded by considering that humans too could be classified into groups with similar characteristics. If a person is shy, he/she is immediately branded as an introvert and is considered to be better off with other introverts. While it may seem harmless, this act of classifying people is what had led to the problems of racial profiling and the rise in stereotypes. Intentionally or not, we’ve all been a part of this.
Humans are extremely complex beings and the biggest mistake was thinking that we could generalize and classify ourselves as we do plants and animals. People should remember that we’re all different in our own ways and that it is the little idiosyncrasies that really defines who we are. All humans are equal but all humans are not the same. Everyone is raised by different people with different morals and values, in different parts of the world and I think that the diversity is where the beauty of it all lies. Billions of unique individuals, each with their own dreams and aspirations, trying to find that little piece of heaven on earth.
At least, that’s what it used to be. Now we’ve entered a stage where people are more interested in becoming corporate sell-outs and earning huge wads of cash rather than finding their true calling. Yes, money is important but it is not everything. In this rat race for materialistic gain, it seems like everyone forgot one important thing – doing what you love. We are brainwashed at a young age and taught that there are only a handful of “respectable” professions. Not that these professions aren’t useful but if we keep on going down this road, there’ll come a day when we run out of musicians, dancers, comedians and writers. While this all might seem far-fetched, the truth remains that there are hundreds of thousands of people unhappy with their jobs and where their lives are headed. Some of the best musicians I have seen are wasting their time in an engineering lecture hall. The next Picasso or Rembrandt may be banging his head over formulae he cannot seem to grasp.
What we need to do is remind people of that little kid in ’em that wanted to become an astronaut, a pilot or an artist. Somehow, people need to find that inner child once again and start believing. We need to start believing in whatever it is that keeps us going. It varies from person to person. Some put their faith in God, some put their belief in science while some immerse themselves in their art. Some believe in fate, divine interventions, etc. while some believe that shit just happens. No matter what your beliefs are, finding that one thing that drives us might end up saving one from a life of regrets and remorse.
Call me clichéd but whenever something good happens to me, I imagine shimmering pixies flying above my head and waving their shining wands over me. I believe in signs, coincidences and serendipity. Like that overly sappy dialogue in Interstellar, I believe that “Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space.” I believe that each one of us has the power to change the world. That random acts of kindness do make a difference and no one’s too small. I believe; that is more than most can say.
Of course, we can sit and talk about different perspectives but honestly, perspective is what shuts out the universe. We talk about the “big picture” and how our issues seem inconsequential in contrast but maybe it’s not like that. Maybe what you’re doing is the most important thing in the whole universe. So whatever it is, put your heart into it and don’t bother about perspectives; it’s what keeps the love out.