Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Life in phases and slices

"My kid is a honor student in 'Lincoln elementary school". The bumper sticker proudly adorned a Lexus which I almost fender bendered in a bumper to bumper traffic. I was stuck in the usual San Jose peak hour traffic and I started to lose myself in a chain of thought this harmless sticker triggered. There seemed to be no dearth for doting proud parents in the bay area. Currently I can only vicariously enjoy the pleasures of proud parents. While empathizing their pride, I could not help but ponder over some questions that went through my mind which are summarized below

. why some people who shine brilliantly in kindergarten end up as no ones in life?
. why some people who top their class relegate to mindnumbing mediocre jobs ?
. why most succesful CEOs weren't the 'most probable stars' in their school years?
. why do most people who were 'most probable star' end up as insurance agents and friggin' car salesmen?

I dont have much experience in life. But whatever I have learned, life is not one monolithic block of granite. Just because your life is slick and sweet at this moment does not mean that you are entitled to happines for ever; you have to work to make sure the happiness gets carried forward to the next phase in your life. Similarly if life seems to be one big sucker at this moment it does not mean it has to be the same way till the end - unless one assumes that way and takes one's life unable to cope up with current pressures in which case it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.

Life offers everyone different hats to wear - different roles and responsibilities at different stages of lifecycle. Just because you are miserable in the current role (especially if the role is thrusted upon you which is normally true when you are young) does not mean you are doomed to fail in your life. Try to cope up - if not possible just wait it out while learning and honing up the skills in the fields in which you have interest. Having a sense of humor and jotting down the ironies that happen currently will be very helpful when you grow up. This is best narrated in obe of the most interesting books I have read - JD Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye".

In my opinion (it may sound very simplistic), many suicides and homicides can be prevented if this fact of life is known to everyone especially to the kids who have a miserable teenage in schools. Consider the Columbine kids. There were 2 sets of troubled teenage kids from the same school district. Both the sets are skeptical about the events happening around them and cynical about the people surrounding them. One set - Stone and Parker waited it out, grew up and made parody of not only the people around them but the whole world and left behind an amusing legacy through their now famous South Park comedy. The other set - Harris and Klebold, did not know about the phases nor did they have the patience to wait it out and all they left behind were 15 dead bodies.

"Honk.... Honk...." "Move it buddy"; the weakest link in my chain of thought was broken by externalities and I started moving with the traffic. The car that went past me had a curious bumper sticker - "My son kicked your honour role son's ass" :)

Peace out


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