Unparalleled Self

Do you know that we are here today because small groups of some obscure fish were forced by to die in closed pools of dirty water, and they decided to live? That was some hundreds of millions of years ago, and they were our distant ancestors.

When forced to live in oxygen depleted waters, our ancestors came to the surface more often to breathe. When that wasn’t enough to survive, they came closer to the banks and eventually jumped off the water, and evolved as amphibians. They became the fist ones of animal kingdom that began living on land and breathe in as much air as they want, showing middle finger to the water that gave them barely enough oxygen.

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In the long story of evolution from fish to amphibians, reptiles to rodents, and monkeys to humans, many failed, and our lineage triumphed, making us possible.

We civilised ourselves and started building intricate systems of beliefs, and mentally inhabited them to ensure order. In the process, we grew so obedient that we kid ourselves that what exists is only what is being advertised by the system around us. And the system advertises only what suits best for its prolonged survival, not necessarily for your well being.

Higher the mass gathered, greater the inertia. Likewise, greater the number of minds believing in something, more powerful is the influence of system over the naive, and harder it is to change. Every decision that everyone makes will be influenced by the existing system to some degree, and those decisions in turn, add up to the constitution of the system, strengthening or weakening it.

You live through the choices you make, and the most people today, do not make their own choices. They choose from the list available and never bother to ask, who created it. Who made that paper and ink that made the letters on it visible? Whose writing was that? And will you be sucked into nothingness if you do not honour the list? You will be, if you think so, and only because you think so. But you are always at liberty to make your own path, and create your own world.

When situations try to intimidate and force a choice upon you, it’s upto you to make your own choice and walk away with it. Their urgency to screw you up is not your responsibility to fulfil.

But attempts to screw you do not always come in forthright ways. Hard part is to figure out that you are being screwed, though not being directly threatened.

For instance, there were many kinds of fish in that past era. Unlike our ancestors, they didn’t face threats like depleted oxygen, and they lived in stunningly larger expanses of clear water. But their descendants are still fish, and we are eating close to a hundred million tonnes of them, cooked or canned, each year. For all that the evidence suggests, you are constantly being tested by the universe. Whether you accept and eat it all up of what’s being put in your mouth, or rebel against being pampered and name yourself the sovereign, is completely upto you.

Just because your water is clean, doesn’t mean you must accept being a fish. Jump off the water if that’s what you see is the right thing for you to do, though they call you mad. And your decision can dramatically influence the potential fate of your thousands of descendants. Risk everything if you believe its worth it, and dare to lose. But never make it your business to tiptoe through life. Beat it up and bang it.

If what you are getting is by not being yourself, you are screwed. If you force yourself into something you don’t believe in, things might seem vivid for the moment, but they won’t be for long, and you are screwed. If it’s not flowing, it’s nothing. Stay off from the butter-tongued promises and stick to what you know. Can’t find it?

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You can always water the plants to grow a forest, over-hydrate yourself and piss it all out, run faster than you ever had, sweep your premises and bring in order, do a 50k run, or do pushups until you can’t feel your elbows, and then do some more. There are a million ways to push your boundaries, and in the way, find your passion, rather than staying in a place where you do not belong, hauling yourself for something you truly do not give a heck about. And that is why it doesn’t give a heck about you, and that is why you consistently perform at mediocre levels. A profession cares only for the truly proficient, and at the degree they care for it.

You cannot be boss of your life, if you are being a self-declared slave to everything that everyone believes is sacred. What makes you the non-sacred and according to who? Name yourself the king of your world and rule it like you mean it. Tip toeing through life got you where? And it gave you what? The faces that pretend concern, and those palms that tap your shoulders to encourage when you are low?

Just in case you do not see it yet, nine out of ten of them vehemently enjoy your problems. They are already having a hard time, trying to conceal the glow in their faces at your squirms. They only tap your shoulders as a snide reminder that you’ll forever stand beneath them, be it in any sphere of life. They won’t even think to offer support, once they see that your shoulders have grown taller than the reach of their palms.

Never look for concern in another face. Do not offer shoulders to get taps, and never look for shoulders to lean on and vent out your pain. No one respects a weak heart. Contain yourself and stand your ground. That garners respect and loyalists.

If you’ve messed it up, so be it. Face it alone. It’s still your work, your genius masterpiece. You have set up some standards for creating new mess in the world and zillions will admire that through generations, not because they think you were right. It’s because they’ll find what you’ve dared to think, and that you’re unique, original. You knew your mess.

Got friends? Drop in and say yo once in a while and teach your buddies a thing or two. Offer help if they need it, but never tie yourself anywhere, nor try to move someone when they’re so adamantly wanting to stay. They are where they are for a reason. No-one can sustain what they do not deserve, though you are so gracious to try and elevate them. There’s nothing holy in carrying the pair of boxers that your balls have so outgrown. Just learn what you’ve got to learn, and get out of there.

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You live forever in the stuff you make. So make it stand out. That is living. Not begging others to believe your unconvincing mannerisms that you are someone else. What you see in a shade of colour, or hear in a track of sound is something that only you can know. If you can’t find words to describe what you find in yourself, coin a new one. True contributions you make to this world come from your unparalleled self. Don’t make that guy your role model and limit yourself to him. You are a performer, potentially capable of creating something much bigger, by exploring life in your way.

You could only be a selling a new kind of ice-cream you made by yourself, if that’s what is uniquely yours in life. But you thought it up and did it, and your content is original. And you’d have lead a far more fulfilling life, selling ice creams, than you’d have by trying to do what some-role-model-one else did, as it was someone else’s last wish that they see you do it too, before they kicked their bucket. Better ask them to kick it right away, you are not here to serve their vicarious pleasures.

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You already have unique dreams that you’ve let everyone bury. But everyone you have ever met in your life was there, just so you use them as tools to realise your dreams. You must figure out how to use your tools to your best advantage. There’s no solid proof that you will get another chance to be here again, once your time is done. You might as well end up as fish in the fresh water, if at all there’s a next time. No guarantees anywhere. Better be yourself, live upto your dreams and fail today, than wait for the promise of a painless death, some tomorrow.

-Avinash Kumar