Just about when a child first begins going to school (these days: play school), we begin asking them, “What do you want to become in life?” The child is bewildered. “I thought life is just going to be as much fun. This was a trap! I will have to “become” something.” The child begins wondering. The easiest answer is fed into them. Either they should become something like their father or mother or someone ‘great’ in the family.
In middle-class families, generally, the one who has a lot of money is revered. At first, there are a lot of questions about ‘how that money is coming in’ but very soon the display of money shuts everyone up. This reverential character, unfortunately, becomes a role-model for the parents of the growing kids in the family.
A popular belief that money can buy happiness becomes subconscious very soon. I don’t argue on the requirement of money. It is obviously required.
The question is: Why do we dismiss the people who don’t have to earn money as the focus in life? Why do we ask people to drop their ambitions just because we can’t see money flowing out of it?
I don’t mean to say that everyone in a well-paying job is unhappy. But not everyone is happy either. It is considered okay to be unhappy in a miserable but well-paying job. While on the other side, it is considered risky to enter a feel that doesn’t necessarily give a ‘salary’ at the end of the month. Especially when it comes to art. The world has seen examples of all sorts of painters, writers, designers making money. We watch them in movies, we read about them in books but we do not want our kids, people from our family to be them.
People don’t want to see how there can be a life where money is not the primary focus. I strongly believe that if you can find something that you are really good at, money will come. You can choose not to make money out of it. Or you can choose a ‘difficult path’ of struggle. But you must do what eventually makes you happy.
People don’t want to see this. Well, whether or not they see, there is definitely a life possible where you have a greater ambition than making money.
My father always tells me about one of his elder friend’s son; born in a lower-middle-class family, who studied hard and became an MBBS doctor. After his initial years of successful practice, he backed his back and went back to the village. He opened his clinic there and started working for the village people. In his clinic, people who can’t pay, don’t have to. He lives a happy life with a wife and kids. They do farming in their own courtyard and largely eat from it.
In what weighing scale would you weigh such act of compassion? The reality is that the world is heavily dependent upon such extreme acts of kindness. And whether we acknowledge them or not, these people are willing to keep going about it.