When we are young, we were taught to work hard, do well in school, so that we are assured of a good life. What is a good life, we ain’t that sure, but the adults sure believed in it. I’m thankful my parents believed in education; but they also believed in me. We are mostly brought up in a system that emphasised on predictability, that was calculative about ‘ROI’ or ‘returns on investment’, acting as though we can know or represent somehow our ‘returns’ with reasonable accuracy that it is worthwhile even considering it.
There’s this idea of ‘guarantee’. It can be very compelling since the onus is on someone else (or something else, ‘the system’) to make good of some kind of promise. That you just have to take care of fulfilling the conditions and the outcome is assured. You think you’re not assuming any risks because you can leave that to wherever that guarantee comes from. Study hard and you’ll pass the exams; get into Med School and you can become a doctor. Turns out, that is not liberating; because for every outcome different from what you are targeting, you tend to think you’ve not hit certain conditions, or there’s some issues with your inputs. You lose your faith in getting genuinely better, choosing to somehow try to hack the system.
If it’s about passing exams, getting into schools, you find the right spot to dig, to inch into the picture. If it’s about getting the right connections, you network your way, contaminating real connections with muddy intentions. Education in the modern world is doing that to us. Do you want to continue perpetuating that or would you like to do something different and finally be yourself?
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