There are a plethora of topics that I have been waiting to write about and it has been a tough job for me to decide which one to begin with. Finally, I thought it would be best if I start with something which has had a big hand in shaping me the way I am. Kindly bear with me.
We often hear people saying that our experiences are our best teachers, I agree but there is also another neglected, underestimated mentor which can help us in staying away from such regrettable experiences/decisions. To elaborate this, I will have to take you back to 2013 when I had just completed my 12th Board exams. I was waiting eagerly for the engineering college I would get into, which I did get easily (an average private one, no merit needed, you have your 10th and 12th mark sheet, money and stupidity… congrats you have been granted an admission), just to figure out later that I would be sailing in the wrong boat. No, it was not the mediocrity of the college but the very fact that I had stepped into something (engineering) in which I had little interest. I was not the only one to blame for this wrong step – media, teachers, family, friends, everyone had brainwashed me into believing that this is the ultimate career. Still, I accept that I could have still made a call if I would have talked to myself for once, if I would have asked critical questions like ‘why am I fit for this career?’, ‘what are the other options available?’, ‘should I do what others are doing?’. Anyway, I managed to spend those four years well, made some good friends. My academics went for a toss, scored an average CGPA. Now I do have an engineering degree but I feel as I graduated in life lessons, the greatest of them being TALK TO YOURSELF, DON’T JUST FOLLOW A TREND/CROWD. USE YOUR CONSCIENCE.
The above line has elevated my perspective, brought me power to think about anything meticulously and then decide if I should do it or not. Yes, it may sound boring but it can turn out to be a panacea for all your day to day predicaments.
Here are two points that I would like to mention, two habits that I had developed during those same four years and which I got rid of soon. These are some of the most ubiquitous activities that youth have embraced without knowing the effects it has on our society. I will get into the detail of each one in separate write-ups:
Just as I got into engineering I got into this one too, everyone was doing it around me. Ya, it’s fun to watch but there are dark sides, it’s addictive, it’s manipulative, misleading and if all these are not enough then hear me out. Your failed attempt to control your hormones might be compelling a girl to perform those acts forcefully, she might have been trafficked or she might be doing it under some other pressure, you never know it for sure. One click is promoting a business which is based on the idea that women are sex objects. I asked myself if I should still continue watching and the answer was NO. Yes, I am a hot-blooded male in my mid-twenties and I don’t need such filthy material. What about you?
Just like the previous one this too goes against gender equality. I don’t have an issue if you swear at someone who has pissed you off but why is there a need to bring their female family members into the fight? Is that all you can do when your machismo is hurt? (NO, I am not suggesting to bring male members to maintain equilibrium, you idiot). Now many will say that they just do it for fun, without literal meaning it. Really? If something has no meaning then why should you say it in the first place? Just because all say it? You do know what it means and subconsciously you have accepted the fact that those words indicate and then you say it’s the 21st century, women are at par with men. What makes all these even worse is when women too use such words wholeheartedly. Maybe they are trying to walk neck to neck with men but don’t do something which backfires on your own gender. If I can’t respect India being an Indian, I have no right to demand respect from a foreigner, as simple as that. Heed it and leave swearing which contains women targeted words or feel proud in calling yourself a hypocrite.
These were the two things that I have successfully eliminated from my life, though there might be many other things which people from all walks of life struggle with – like alcohol, drugs, etc. Fortunately, I have never fallen into these traps. With some, if done in moderation, it’s fine while others must be expelled immediately.
My purpose behind writing this was not to blow my own horn, I am still chasing my goal. It was an attempt to tell everyone that you are in charge of your character, don’t let it get adulterated by external forces (people, situations). Yes, you can have a different opinion, you are free to live your way as far as you don’t cause harm to others. I don’t intend to debate with anyone, but if you can resonate with my story and you feel the urge to bring change in yourself, then the time spent in creating this write-up was time well spent.