This entire dashed thing is just something I’m doing to convince myself I’m writing daily.
If you’ve followed the blog, you might have read this post of mine called Seniors, where post Freshers’, I fanboyed about some of the individuals I looked upto and admire at college.
And the thing was that last year, I associated them with their achievements.
Today, I shared a cab ride with one of my seniors, and we were talking profound talks about mooting, the mooting system, law school, law school life, and well, it dawned on me that there’s some misconception about the associative value to a person within the confines of college.
It’s strange. It’s not that people here don’t care to understand who people are, or what sort of characters they are, but that the first thing that pops into people’s heads about other people is their achievements. It’s a horrid practice, and I think that it’s rather sad that that’s what we’ve come to. I also believe that this culture is reflective of this annoying competitive edge we develop/have as Indians.
Just think about the number of competitions you’ve done. We, as Indians, live our lives like we have this massive weight of ‘beating someone’ upon us. It’s not like we aim for self-improvement, or just self-satisfaction (insofar as our goals are concerned), but that we aim to do better than someone else. It’s crazy how innate this is to who we are.
For example, board exams, and then, entrance exams. Its all about getting a mark ahead. This extends to the way we approach University applications abroad as well. We don’t try telling people about our multifaceted personalities and the several things we’ve tried, and failed at, but rather, present this all-conquering, all-successful, yet narrow image of who we are.
And I’m being critical of the system not on the merit of what we’ve achieved, but on the basis of where it’s taken us. I mean, competition, and healthy competition is great. I’m an advocate for people helping others becoming better versions of themselves – that’s a great thing, in that it helps people figure out what they like and enjoy doing. But it’s pretty pathetic when it’s the only thing we care about, and well, when we develop an attitude of doing anything to gain a yard over others.
It may sound like I’m digressing greatly, or ranting. But its true. In college, people don’t know you because you’re nice to speak to, or fun to chill with, but they associate you with what you achieve. And its utterly disgraceful, but that is precisely how it works.
Let’s look at what my friends do. People run magazines and NGO’s. And if someone needed a reference, that’s what I would introduce them as. I wouldn’t talk about their desire to do positive social service, or their flair and mere passion for writing and reading.
That was a pretty profound realization for me. It also hit me that it meant that we somewhat ignored people’s knowledge and work and gave larger credit to the 5% of luck involved in every achievement ever.
So I’m going to stop doing that, I think. Actively going to introduce and talk about people in light of what I’ve taken away from conversations with them. Instead of a moot win, I’ll tell people about someone’s knowledge on a particular topic.
It’s a small change, but hey. Might as well attack the system in some way I can.
Time to go back to reading.