Towards the end of it, you will regret of living too much of a comfortable life. They tell you. Well, towards the end of it, you will also regret never being comfortable at all.
This happened to me a few months back, at one of my favourite restaurants in the city of Ahmedabad. I had gone there for dinner after watching a wonderful movie. If it matters a lot, I’d mention that I saw the movie alone, I don’t think it matters much. I took out my Kindle and began reading this wonderful book. The waiter served the water and gave me the menu card. Then he waited for 10 minutes and looked at me from a corner. Uncomfortably, he came and asked me, “Is anyone coming?” “Nope, no one is coming,” I smiled at him to ease the tension. He nervously smiled back at me and began clearing the other half of the table- the mats, the napkin, etc and then took my order.
There was a group of young college boys next to me, and while they saw my dinner being served, I could see sympathy on their faces (in spite of me being totally comfortable, reading an interesting book and eating the best thing on the menu) and they were whispering to each other, perhaps something like, “Do you think I should join her? Poor girl..she’s alone here.” I really don’t know if that’s exactly what was said. It felt that way. Well, this poor girl was just out on a dinner date with herself, big deal!
This is a very common thing. If you are waiting somewhere, you have to keep looking inside your phone- whether it is about repeatedly checking the apps which categorically tell you if there is a new notification (and there isn’t any) or scrolling through the universe of news feeds. We cannot imagine a life without distraction. In such a case, if you see a person just sitting at a coffee shop doing nothing or just reading, it makes you feel uncomfortable.
Some friends groups have the best past time and that is about taking about the people who are not present. So talk about how someone is doing miserably in their job.
How someone is doing a ‘job’ and how disgusting and petty that is. How they are ‘wasting’ their life and their ‘talent’. If someone is planning a post-graduation in anything apart from MBA or Engineering, it sounds useless.
Another level of ‘risk’ if it is in the field of Arts. Well if everyone was to become an MBA, who would do all the other stuff?
Corporate workers are criticised by startup people saying they are corporate slaves. Government employees are mocked by the same corporate workers saying they get a free ride at everything. Government employees mock artists, freelancers, etc. Not all, of course not all. But basically, there’s this thing about putting others down that people enjoy doing because it gives them a feeling that they are on the higher edge, which unfortunately doesn’t happen. The higher edge is absolute, not relative.
While becoming a celebrity and an important person, you touch a lot of lives through your work. Still, a doctor in a village might seem to have a ‘small life’ but the impact of that might be quite bigger than what you’d expect. It’s a big thing to touch 2000 lives so deeply in an entire lifetime. A teacher might seem like an inconsequential person but it’s one of the most essential jobs currently. A rag picker might seem petty but you can’t live without them even for a day.
People who belittle others for choosing a ‘small life’ are the most insecure people, ever. Small life, big life- it is all your choice. Everyone should get to comfortably run in the race they have chosen or have had to choose.
This is different from, ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.’ because that’s a quote for self-reflection. You cannot be the judge of someone else’s trial-error, their past, what stops them, what pushes them, etc.
It might not be a bad idea to find our own comfort (time and again) and respect other people’s comfort without spending time and energy on judging and analysing them.