Life Of Navin

Random Musings, Random Bullshit.


Why This Mediocrity Di?

*Rant Mode: Activated *

Abey kya yaar? What's up with everyone being mediocre, all day, every day? It's like the word achievement is suffering a degeneration of definition the same way the word photographer is. (If you own a camera, you own a camera. No, you are NOT a  photographer). I've been thinking a lot about this since reading this article.

Take a simple example: College placements. A majority of college graduates would be more-than-happy getting "placed" at an MNC like Infy/Cogni/TCS, and being part of the herd (or in worse cases, the bench). Barely any think about joining any other company/industry.... or even starting something on their own. Even the startups I see around seem to be either
  • Developing websites (yes, your graduate degree comes in handy there! :| ) or
  • Desi implementations of applications that have done well in the West. 
Boss, what happened to innovation? What happened to dreaming big? What happened to all that buzz that everyone had just 3 months ago when we were in college? Noone even aspires to work at (say) a Microsoft, or a Google. And please don't even get me started on the "engineers" who're now pursuing an MBA and are going to end up with a "stable" job in a bank in another 2 years time. If you're one of those MBA people reading this, I know you're shaking your head right now, and I hope you prove me wrong, but let's just wait for another 2 years, shall we? Arey, as engineers, it is OUR responsibility to help mould the world, make the world a better place. Don't be sellouts, and even if you are 'temporarily selling your soul' (an actual phrase used by a close friend which may be instrumental in a decision I have to make soon), atleast ensure that you won't lose sight of the goal in the process!

 People have really begun to think that the smallest of occurrences, things that most people wouldn't even have noticed if you hadn't told them about it, count as achievements! Sorry bro, but learning to make Maggi doesn't count as an achievement, neither does buying a computer/phone. And neither does watching the latest Chris Nolan movie, nor that attempt at pseudo-philosophy you just made. Arey, these are not even minutely achievements. When did achievement become equivalent to spending Rs. 200 or using your brain (which, BTW, has undergone a billion years of evolution before it landed in your head... well, kinda) to come up with a one-liner?

In some ways, I blame social media for this. Facebook has made it way too easy to share every single detail of your life as an "achievement" to add on your "timeline". I actually know people who have 5+ post on Facebook made in the last < 5 hours! Wow, you must be having the time of your life! Consider this: Zuckerberg himself has just 4 public updates in the last 3 months, and that includes getting married AND taking a company public. Why on earth do you want to share every single link you find (and perhaps relate to). Like-whoring (if you'll excuse the term) it seems like. And the saddest bit is that the rest of us seem to appreciate this. The same people I spoke of before have achieved the status of micro-celebrities, just for sharing stuff over a social networking site. Damn, tussi great ho!

I have a friend who has achieved the nickname "blogger" because he has 6 blogs. Pretty cool, eh? Well, but 2 of those blogs have no posts, one of them is just a pageful of links and the other 2 have 1 article each! And all 6 are lying dormant since 2010. And no, I'm not making any of this up.

On Twitter, people are celebrities just because they're on the friggin' site. And no, I'm not talking about the actual actors/sportsmen who're atleast the leaders in their field. I'm talking about people like you (and me) here. Fanclubs have started emerging and flooding timelines. Damn, when will people understand that Twitter is NOT a chat application! It's sad that Twitter, which is one of the most innovative technologies available to us is being trivialized to such extent. :|

We are on the same planet where people like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Elon Musk, Ratan Tata, RMS, Jimmy Wales and Linus Torvalds are doing amazing things on a daily basis. Instead of being inspired by these living legends, why is everyone hellbent on joining the herd and applauding mediocrity?

I absolutely hate being called a role model, especially since my achievements (if they may be considered) are barely above mediocre. And I'm sure my role models will say the same about themselves too. I do not want people to make the same choices that I have made (mainly because luck has played an important role in ensuring that I'm still here), or make choices as I have. I do not believe that I have done anything worth having people look up to me..... Yet. Yes, there have been a few awards, and a few memorable events, but honestly, it's only as big a deal as you want to make it. 

I'm all for using praise as a motivator, but what everyone needs to recognize is the necessity of constructive criticism. I dream of a society where mediocrity is shunned and people make an effort to avoid mediocrity. Where people who dare to think outside the box are allowed to do so, or better yet, encouraged. Where people are building awesome things, meeting awesome people, travelling to awesome places and yes, making the world a better place in the process. I dream of a place where genius is rare, and achievement is even rarer. And I hope some years down the line, people will say "Boss, this guy has achieved something in life". (and that'll make a truly kickass Facebook status update! :P). Here's to the crazy ones...

Say no to mediocrity, and encourage actual achievement. Dream big, because as Walt Disney said:
 "If you can dream it, you can do it"


JackSparrow_fanforlife said...

Nice! Inspiring! too bad most people around here just make a fool of u if u try to be different..But still, your post got me thinking..and hopefully it'l teach people a thing or two. :)


Finally after all these years, here's to the beginning of what was there, what is there and hopefully what will remain!! So here are my thoughts & words -Online!!

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