“You don’t buy a Bournville, you earn it.”
This tagline is something which we have been hearing since quite some time now, and yet it has remained as just that – a tagline. To dwell into the commercial meaning of it will become like a lecture on Marketing, so I’m not going to put my feet there, but let’s see it as what it is – a literary sentence.
And, forget Bournville for some time.
“You don’t buy (a) _______, you earn it.”
It could be a car, books, clothes, souvenirs etc. It could be anything that you want to surround yourself with. So, why do you think that a lot of people felt special while buying a Bournville? In their own words, “I didn’t buy this man, I earned it. I feel euphoric.” Cheeky reply, I know. But, that is how we all think about each and every facet of our lives, and rightly so.
Food. This one word can make my mouth water for obvious reasons, and make me hog without caring about the world. But, do you know what makes bread and butter tastier?
When you earn it yourself.
For me, financial independence has been one of my major goals since I can remember. And when I say that, it doesn’t imply that I want to roll around in cash and bathe in gold. It is a sweet and blissful moment, when money which YOU have earned, enters your wallet; doesn’t matter if it is in the form of cold metal or crisp paper. That feeling of self-sustainability is indescribable, and only those who’ve earned something know what it means and feels like. The other aspect is that not everything you earn is measured monetarily.
I can proudly say that I earned the seat in my current course, because only I know the amount of effort that I put in to get it. Just like any other job, hard work pays too, and you earn it. It pays in the form of a dream getting fulfilled, or a trip over cloud nine.
It isn’t about how much you earn or your (un)successful endeavours; it’s not about your fat paycheck or a big, shiny reward.
Earning INR 100 can fill someone’s heart with complete, unadulterated joy. It isn’t about the amount; it’s about the fact that you did something to get it. Someone else didn’t give it you, YOU got it for yourself. It breathes a sense of self-identity inside of you, while the merriment quotient doesn’t have to be mentioned as it goes without saying.
Want to top the exams?
Want to get placed in one of the best corporate houses?
Want to buy something that has caught your roving eye for quite some time now?
Imagine how strong the world would be if all of us wanted to earn everything for ourselves (for the good things, of course).
Cheating during exams has become a way of life, but don’t you feel that a self-earned ‘C’ is much better than getting an ‘A’ for rephrased lines of someone else’s paper? One of our professors describes cheating (during tests) as a way to stop self-learning, as we rely on others for information instead of trying to grasp it ourselves, thus hampering our self-growth. Wouldn’t that make you want to climb the top of a peak and dig in a flag of triumph and pure happiness, if you earned a grade all by yourself? It’s all right for it to be a ‘D’; that tells you to perform better by putting in more effort. I would certainly want to do that. But why is this so?
It can all be explained by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – to be specific, it can be enunciated by the Safety Needs, Love and Belongingness Needs, and Esteem Needs. At the end of the day, we’re social creatures, and we strive towards gaining appreciation from others (inadvertently too).
There is an obvious answer as to why we give this so much importance, right? It’s just one word – ‘YOU’. YOU have the power to achieve anything; YOU are a beautiful masterpiece waiting to be discovered in order to conquer the world; YOU can do anything you want to; YOU, my dear, are amazing.
‘You’ has a strong self-identity attached to it, so whenever anyone says that you have earned this, their gaiety will definitely know no bounds. It never has to be anything big; even a small thing like getting 10 bucks for taking someone’s dog for a walk can pump a good feeling into one’s being, because you earned that amount of money, not your father/mother. The “treat chahiye” phenomena, when one gets his/her first paycheck, is a perfect example of this, as you can proudly look around your belly-satiated friends, smile to yourself and pat yourself on the back for affording that dinner – YOU earned it. You earned those delectable dishes and yummy desserts. It was all you, no one else. The amount or extent of something never matters; what matters is whether you truly worked towards it, by giving it your best. It’s all about being rewarded for what you deserve as an individual.
It’s all about pulling up your socks and standing up on your own feet in time to experience exhilaration and bliss that earning something, absolutely anything, offers.
Photography By: Kanika Narang