I was always a weirdo. I'm sure most of you can relate. I haven’t conformed with a trend for the sake of conforming since… well ever. I’ve always thought through whether I believe what I do and discarded everything that hasn’t fulfilled that requirement. It was cool to be weird when you were at school because who doesn’t like being different and edgy? But, when you get to college and that’s still the story....you start questioning your sanity.
It was at the start of 2013, during my 3rd year of engineering college that I started noticing how depressed I was.
I’m not sure what exactly it was (it was a tough time, a lot was going on), but I felt the weight of something like 80% of the world’s wealth is owned by 20% of the population. The developed nations throw away enough food to feed the hungry several times over and actually realizing the sort of capital-driven system we live in drove me deep into a spiral.
The idea that one person has a better chance at prosperity simply because of where they were born or what family they were born to, made no sense to me and I started to loathe the concept of inheritance. The reality that I made in my head that was far too utopian to be realized started to clash with what was actually happening, and that sort of cognitive dissonance drove me to a deep dark place. There’s a difference when you know something as a fact and when you internalize the meaning of that fact. I seemed to have internalized that our economic model is not in the best interests of mankind in the long run.
Long story short, I suffered for almost 2 years until I finally tried several times to take my own life. The reason I failed all these occasions was because I was too scared to actually go through with the act. On top of feeling like a failure before thinking of taking my own life, I now felt like a failure for not being able to see the act through. So one day I had a teary phone call with my parents and I took the next available flight home. I dropped out of college, and never looked back.
Once I got back, I thought things would change. Familiar faces, familiar environment, no more racism, what could go wrong now right?
I felt just as bad, though the pressure of college had left, the guilt of an incomplete degree had just set itself in. However, with the help of my parents, I started seeing a psychiatrist and tried finding a balance in life again.
I spent a lot of the first few months in self-reflection. I didn’t come out of my room except to find food, bathroom breaks and to buy cigarettes (a pack a day almost). This period really changed me as a person. I dived deep into the work of philosophers like Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche and then also went back in time to the work of Jean Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire and their counterparts. In addition, I started looking for the history of how our economic model came to be, devouring the work of Adam West, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Leon Trotsky, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, John Rawls and Henry David Thoreau.
These men have forever redefined how I look at life.....
Expanding on the essence of what Sartre said, I took to a life motto that comes in two parts;
The combination of these two ideas will help you lock-on to what you really want to be and get there without needing approval from anyone for doing so. You will be able to reach your own potential.
Granted it’s not perfect.....it’s very hard to have a clear picture of who you want to be with regards to every aspect of your life and that’s okay – take it a step at a time. But once you settle on a characteristic you think has virtue, don’t diverge from that for anything. Other people’s actions are not your concern. Your only concern is your reaction towards it.
As for me? I’ve decided that for a civilization that’s been around for 6000+ years, we’ve had to struggle for survival for far too long. My life goal is to remove the bottom two tiers of Maslow’s hierarchy from the equation and make a change.
This blog showcase stories, experiences and poems of brave individuals who were willing to share their creative personal thoughts in the hopes of helping another one in need...