Lets cut to the chase. All talks on apples and oranges and our minds associate the words with the word “COMPARISON“. I could be talking about the apple I Phone and Orange network. But no. The mind goes to the word comparison.
And that ladies and gentlemen, is because of the magic of association.
In a world of Averages, if we are not a part of the average section of the graph, chances are good that we are either slackers or we are ultra achievers. And so the realization dawns that both slackers and achievers are kinda upto something that the average section of the world seems to be incapable of doing. The very distinction between slackers and achievers is based on “parameters” and an underlying assumption that the parameters are universal and accepted norm.
Okie dokie. So The blog seems to be hinging around Association , conclusions based on them associations, and hence it’s inevitably talking about Comparisons. Damn straight. That’s what this blog is about.
And so I suddenly wondered about Albert Einstein’s kid’s names. I’ve not read about them ever before. I had no reason to read about his kids. I wasn’t sure if he even had one(some). Kinda didn’t really matter if Alby was ‘Settled’. The fact that it barely matters is because he’s achieved so much more that this aspect of his life barely matters to the wider world.
The thought took me back to 2016. It was a hard phase of the year. I sat down to list out the nature of my life. I wrote down the list of things that made me realize that I was a loser. I also wrote a list of things which made me feel that I had managed to accomplish something in life. The list penned down , I let my thoughts flow around how people viewed me. What people chose to see in me. What people thought defined me. There was a massive diversity to that point of view.
How people viewed me was a very subjective matter. It really depended on the sample set of who were viewing me. From the maamis and maams of my world, They couldn’t care a damn about how much I could write or how much time I invested in music. That’s ok pa. You should find a wife who is interested in literature or a teacher or something would be their standard response.
I viewed myself from the eyes of the set of budding writers that I managed to meet last year. They saw me as a Murakami / Proust wannabe. Your words reflect a profound journey of life Karthik, they’d tell me from time to time. Addressing myself as the goofy kid in the city felt ridiculous. I felt amused at how far their assessment of me was from how I viewed myself. I neither protested nor let it go to my head. I smiled and thanked them for their kind words. I walked out of the hall feeling a little scared that I might never measure up to their expectations.
From a rocking rebel to a bloke who flaunts process, to a soft spoken gentle mannered bloke, From being an eccentric crazy nut bag, there are far too many versions of me in the eyes of people who pass me by. I’m all of it and I’m none of it. What I am , unfortunately did not really matter much to the world which had measured and paraphrased me to a neat crisp gist.
Back to the association and the comparison. We can’t help but compare. We view the world around us. The averages around us seem to be the norm of what is and what should be. There are days when I comply to that average. There are days when I’m in a blatant state of non conformance. How I view myself is determined by which side of me I choose to indulge. Am I the guy who’s had a hand in a few passions, or Am I the bloke who’s missed the simple milestones that everybody could coast through easily!!!!! Which one mattered more?
I don’t have an answer to that question. I don’t know what matters to me more. I don’t know because I’m playing for both teams. I secretly enjoy my accomplishments and In secrecy, I am guilty and ashamed of falling flat on world’s simple milestones which others comply quite easily.
The decisive factor is that association. What do I associate with the words ‘Normal’, ‘Successful’, ‘Doing good’. or the negative ones like ‘Loser’, ‘Failure’, ‘Embarrassment’.
We live in a world of apples and oranges. When we try hard to be an apple, the world wants us to be like the zesty orange. When we switch gears and aspire and work towards being a clementine, the world says we make a lousy apple. And then we are green in the land of red apples and Mandarin when the world roots for a sweet orange.
We live in a world of comparison. We are judged. Regardless of folks around us letting us in on how we are being judged, regardless of knowledge or ignorance, we are but definitely being judged. There is no easy way around it. Make due with what we are and power on.
Einstein’s kid? Got a name yet????
The sheer pointlessness that is Einstein’s kid’s name is, is a reflection of the pointlessness that keeps us miserable and unhappy. Maybe something to think about 🙂