When I was graduating out of grad school in 2010, I was slowly preparing myself for the climb on the long ladder towards success and achievement. The two words have varied definitions for different people but pop culture wise is understood in terms of money (a sensible savings plan or so much that its illegal and you need a Swiss bank account), money to buy material (obviously not just the basic ‘roti, kapda, makaan’ but also the latest version of the ‘touch‘ technology, the brands and whut not!) and everything else that money DOES buy, whether or not you attribute it to your ‘inner beauty’ or ‘winning personality’.
But as I understood, and am still reeling under that impression for the better part of it, that all the good things in life come gradually and you don’t just have to wait for it, like you do for Barney’s ‘legendary’ outburst, but there’s a long period of struggle to it. While I appreciate the young achievers of today who must be credited (as they are being) for the important initiatives or achievements at such tender ages of relative inexperience, I think somewhere the focus has fallen from the struggle to a long term change or impact to early achievement of, well, almost anything.
For one, I do believe this MBA culture has corrupted the education and alternative career sectors. One “skill based” management degree to your portfolio and you are entitled to a six figure salary. And then you’re supposedly set for life. Then, there’s of course the whole flock of neo-entrepreneurs and why I call them ‘neo’ is because of their lack of base and climb in a particular (or any) field before moving ahead with experimental or ad-hoc formulas on the needy, for the society or the consumer market. This social experiment then, of course, becomes the ticket for applying to management school abroad.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no conservative as far as encouraging the fresh ideas and adventurous streak of the young and the restless. Our future seems promising when kids don’t aim to simply wind up in a 9-5 shift with hoping for only as much as a scrumptious dabba and not getting caught during their cat nap. But is our assessment and reflection of achievements sometimes a bit presumptuous? Sustainability is always a looming question but by focussing on the ideas, are we giving lesser feat to the work involved? Is it about sustainable ideas or work that has been sustained over the years?
We as a generation are already struggling as victims of easy and quick gratification whether it is our physical and sexual needs or finger tip (yet not on the tip of our tongue) information on Google or our smart phones. This cultural pressure towards immediate gratification might also be pushing us to a life of lesser ambition and achieving a sense of security (career, marriage etc.) before we’ve even got a real taste of life.
Where did the Quarter Life Crisis go? Has that become redundant for the rest of us who are now ‘sorted’ for life? Am I a black sheep writing a post reeking of sour grapes? If yes, when and how did I miss this train?
Makepeace Sitlhou is an Associate Editor with Halabol and a Community Manager with The Alternative and that’s as far as titles and designations go. Otherwise, just a lone wanderer in search of a life that pays her for entertainment reviews, cat photography and a sex column.