Because if not you, then who? If not now, then when?
P.S. I did this on my other wordpress blog but thought that I should share it with you all here, too. Just because it is personal. Enjoy my rant!
As you may all be aware, or maybe have experienced, majority of the wise words that we often heard these days would encourage us to “follow our dreams” or “do what we love”, all in the name of happiness and contentment.
Now, the lingering question would be ‘is it right to follow our dreams and pursue what we love’? As with any statement/school of thought, there would be an argument for and against.
Those who are part of the Gen-Y and their successors would swear by this belief with all their hearts, because who have all the time in the world to live his/her life doing things that s/he doesn’t enjoy, learning stuff that s/he doesn’t believe in, selling his/her soul to the devil and, if they’re lucky enough, being paid a gazillion pounds of gold in return? We’re all about YOLO and ‘not missing out’ and ‘living in the moment, making the most out of it’ anyway. Because if not you, then who? If not now, then when?
Those who are from the Baby Boomers generation, in contrary, would disagree. No things in life come easy. You have to earn it before you can get it. Hard work will take you a long way. “Stop being whiners and just do your job!”might be their favorite line, which I totally agree, too. That only makes sense, doesn’t it?
I have to suggest, however, that instilling the Baby Boomers’ mindset in this day and age is not easy; not when our willpower and persistence muscles are not as trained and strong as our parents’ & grandparents’*. These days, it’s easier than ever for us to say “I deserve better” and “I’m done with this, I’m going where I’m destined for.” Do we, though, deserve better? Are we, really going where we’re destined to? Or are we just chasing a dream, ballooning our hopes in the process, when actually we’re going nowhere?
One thing I’m going to admit: I’m one of the whiners. I’m one of those who think that I deserve better, and that I’ll pursue what matters to me the most, soon. Or soon-ish, I hope. Work has been terribly un-satisfying. I’m at that point where I’m concerned that I’d resent going to work forever because of what I’m going through at the moment. I share this with my Mom the other day, and as expected, her being from the Baby Boomers generation, could not understand me. I see where she’s coming from; I definitely do. But**, I just wish I could do something else that resonates better with my values.
Just the other day I read an article about the haze problem in Indonesia and how the sustainable world is an elusive dream. It tingles my nerves to read this. And it got me thinking (again, for the millionth time), “What am I doing here? How am I spending my time living in the most livable city in the world, enjoying all the perks that come with it, all the while the people in my hometown is trying to survive, let alone make it, back home? What can I do to make their lives better?”
Ideas brew in my mind. I talk to people about them, trying to take my message across the line, about how change can happen if and only if people care enough to do it. Funnily enough, almost everyone gave up immediately, even before the discussion moved to how we can propel the change. Now how can we progress if our first response to change is ‘No’?
We talk about dreamers and realists, Gen-Y-ers and Baby Boomers. We try to classify people into generations and classes, and have articles written about who do things better, which mindset is better to achieve success, why one thing is worse than another. We compare ourselves, when at the end of the day, what we really need is just a sense of care about our surroundings.
Well I do care. I guess that’s why I have been feeling uneasy about things that are currently happening in my life, which – unfortunately – translates into me complaining and whining. I’m not going to justify myself for that. That is just plain wrong. That’ why I’m not going to waste any more of my time doing something that I don’t care about, forcing myself to live the values that I don’t believe in, delivering work for people who don’t even care about what’s happening.
I’m jumping in. Head first. And I’m inviting you to jump in with me. Head first.
Again, a reminder, nothing is easy; not when our willpower muscles are as flabby as a marshmallow that’s been put under the hot sun for some time. While this statement is not to be used as an excuse to slacking, it gives a little comfort to know that we are, after all, perishable (either in the mental, physical and spiritual sense). As counterintuitive as it may sound, this should work as an affirmation for us to be okay with failing and to not give up. Some of my favorite TED talks about it here and here (among many).
That’s all from me for the time being.
Now, let’s jump!