One of the many fallacies of human nature is that we think we can control everything. That life should happen as we will it to. And then it doesn’t and we get stuck in a labyrinth of dejection and denial, accusation and blame, and basically most of the things that you feel before a job interview. One day you have it all figured out, and then suddenly, you don’t. Because the deal is (if you know any math at all) that when you have more variables than equations, there are infinite solutions. And philosophers, right from some phony in the ancient ages to some phony in the modern age, have been trying to figure out all the equations. It’s the variables that just keep piling on.
Technology grows exponentially, while humans grow linearly. Which, in layman terms, means that there will come a day when machines will take over. Now, THEY can control everything. Okay.. maybe not everything, but at least way more than us error-prone humans (though I’m pretty sure when it rains, they’ll be running for cover to avoid rusting). Our activities are based on emotions, environment, history and what not - and that is what makes us human. And that is also what makes us feel invincible sitting in our bedrooms – like a stuck duck at the first sign of trouble.
One day, in a rush of adrenaline, or alcohol, you had these grand plans on what to do after college. This research, that job, what not. You could taste the triumph, you could hear the applause. And then life happened. When the rush died down, you realised you were the same, and that time would take its time, and that you would just have to not let your enthusiasm fizzle out, and that you’d have to keep working hard. You know what? That’s a lot of shit to remember. Screw it, let me just finish my work and go to sleep. Tony Stark wasn’t real, after all.
One never knows what the guy who sat next to you at school, your roommate in college, or any of their friends, are going to make of their lives. And hence when one of them achieves something and you’re still struggling, you’re perplexed, because ‘that fucker used to sit next to me! Today he is CEO?! If he can do it, I can too!’ And thus continues the vicious cycle of “having everything figured out”.
Here is the problem with winners though. They think they can never lose. You won once and you feel invincible. You have your path figured out. And much like the thousand faces in the crowd, you’re making grand plans that might never amount to anything - because to function one needs ideas, money, work, peers and what not. And by the time you manage to put all that together, you barely have any will left to continue.
Most of you will relate to this, except engineers. Consider your girlfriend/boyfriend. One day in college you had it all figured out - the dates, the future plans, how many kids blahblah. And then you both got jobs, had to stay away for a while, and suddenly one of you just doesn’t want to see the other anymore. Because “you’re being clingy” or “you’re nagging” or “I have other friends now”. And that person who you’d give anything for, thinks you’re calling to ask about how she is and it’s nagging and suddenly, she doesn’t want to see you anymore because she has other friends. Because now, she is well settled and doesn’t need your shoulder anymore. Or he. And then you crash. Ah well.
Point remains, that you never have it all figured out. You never can. I always think I’ve got it all figured out, and then I live another day, and everything just gets more complicated. Some exam result comes and I don’t score as expected. Maybe that affects my GPA, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe that affects my future, maybe it doesn’t. You could get a promotion or you could get fired. After all, the stock market is the biggest blob of uncertainty there is, isn’t it? One day you’re fine, and the next, God forbid, you have an illness. Road accidents, drugs, crime, depression – the list could literally last a book if stated in entirety. Any of those can screw up what you had “figured out”. And throw you into a pit.
I’d suggest you go with the flow, live life, do what you can best, and give back to the people you love, and to the society. A little kindness can go a long way.
As for the future, leave it to whatever the hell that controls it because there are infinite universes. And in one of them, at least, you’re bound to be doing pretty well. Peace out.
Photography By: Arunava Das