Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Of Choices and Happiness










By Surangya Kaur

where your treasure is (1)

We spend 14 years of our life in the closed walls of our school, sheltered from and unexposed to the real world. Our sense of opinion and views reflects that of our elders. We aren’t accustomed to thinking independently, or say, we lack the confidence to make our own decisions, without the consent of our parents. Parents and even some elements of the extended clan interfere significantly in our decisions and life choices. Their experience overshadows our opinions and is often cited as the reason for overruling our volitions. The quest for adventure is subdued as we are led to believe that only few paths can be taken to happiness and we are shepherded away from the roads less taken.

What a majority of us are taught to follow is the Big American Dream: A house, a car, 2 kids, a secure job and maybe a dog. It’s quite a revelation when one sees these same elders abhorring the American cultire as being a “bad influence”. This sense of believing that our parents know best often results in developments we aren’t all that satisfied with as individuals.

A 17 or 18 year old who has never stepped out of the house and has a minimal sense of awareness about the kind of options available is assigned the prodigious task of picking a career which is to shape the rest of his life. Some major glitches are to be expected.

So to all the kids still in school, vexed with confusion between their happiness and their parents’, let me say, look out for your own. No matter how absurd your dream may seem to others, if you have the passion for it, chase it inexorably. Do not get tangled in the doctor or engineer debate. Our life choices do not have to be so mainstream. Less pay and satisfaction is better than unemployment or depression or both.

Ayn Rand in her philosophy, Objectivism, gives a sharp view on this matter. “My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”

Another ideology which stresses on creative satisfaction being greater than materialistic satisfaction is expressed in the movie, 3 idiots. We all learnt a lot from that one.

All around you are adults constantly cribbing about their lives, their jobs, their responsibilities. At this stage, we all look at them and think, “I’m not gonna be this way.” But the paths we are treading on inevitably lead us to the same destination. So be careful, and don’t be afraid.



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