Statutory Warning: This post might leave you sad and depressed at the end. So if you are prone to depression anyway, either stop here or keep the pills handy.

I was talking to a bunch of school students and asked them about what they want to do in life. While the other kids had all the usual answers, Engineer, Doctor, Pilot, Surgeon, etc. there was one kid, whose answer surprised me. He said, “I want to become Mukesh Ambani” !

I asked him why Mukesh Ambani? He said “He has so much money, he controls everything.”

This made me start thinking on how much of what happens around us, with us, to us, for us, is really in our control. And the result, was quiet disappointing, to be honest. Let’s explore our lives and see what’s the truth:

The Working Professional:

He/she has no control on his salary, promotion, travel plans, which hotel to stay in during travel, what kind of table or chair he gets, the location of his seat in the office, whether he can have a cabin or not, which customers to go after, which geography or region to sell in, etc. This is all based on the guideline, budget and wishes of the seniors in the company. He is just ‘following orders’.

The Businessman:

He/she does not have control on where he can sell (laws of the land), what price he sells the product (depends on demand/supply elasticity), what tax he pays, whom he can hire (based on the salary he can afford to pay), where to get the raw materials from (law of the land), etc. 

The Housewife:

What to cook is based on whats there in the fridge ; what to buy is based on what is available in the market ; what to cook from what is there is in fridge is further based on what the family wants to eat on that day ; where and what to shop is based on the family income and (in some cases, unfortunately) on husband’s guidelines ; when to take an afternoon nap (if one does) depends on the child’s schedule ; wether to go out in the evening is dependent on husband’s schedule ; wether to go for a run or any kind of exercise in the morning is based on how the kids and hubby will manage their morning routine. Over all this, of course, is the super-boss, the maid. If she is not coming today, then the whole family can go for a day trip to Lonavala and get what they want!

The Family Man:

He is probably the worst of the lot. He cannot decide what shirt to buy or wear.. dictated by his wife ; he cannot decide what car to buy – brand decided by kids and colour by wife ; He cannot decide on where to buy or rent the house – decided by kids’ school location. ; He cannot decide on where to eat or what to order – family choice, you see !! ; He cannot decide on where to go on vacation – kids and wife’s preferences have to be accounted for.

The Kid:

By this time, you must be thinking that wow, kid’s wishes are paramount and at least a kid must have control over everything. But ask a kid and he/she will tell you how miserable it is to be a kid. He cannot decide on his school ; what clothes he wears (as a child) ; what he gets to eat ; what time to go to sleep/wake up ; what time to go to play, whom to play with, how long to play; He is told whom to be friend and whom to stay away from; he is told when to speak and when not to speak (in class) ; he is told what to submit for assignment and when to submit it by (and on failing, he does not even have control on what punishment he is given, poor child :-()

The teenager:

Whom to ‘hang out’ with, is decided by Dad. Whom to date is decided by mom. What music to listen to is decided by Dad. Where to go on for your first date is suggested by mom. When to tell dad about your boyfriend is decided by Mom. Who is mean and who is not mean is decided by your friends. 

And to Everyone:

We have no control on :

  • The barking dog in the street disturbing our sleep (even the colony’s night guard doing the rounds, tapping his stick and shouting ‘jagtey rahooo’ )
  • The crying/wailing child in the train.
  • The pesky, bulky passenger who boarded the flight at the last moment and had to occupy the middle seat next to you.
  • The weather on a given day
  • what the government decides 
  • What the police feels is right and wrong

but you would say.. these are all external entities. that’s fine.. but I have control over myself, right? WRONG. Here’s why:

  • We have no control over our emotions: We cannot help getting angry when the waiter delays the order. We cannot suppress the smile of embarrassment when we been proved wrong . we cannot hold back our tears in moments of grief.
  • We have no control over actions – our yawns, sneezes, burps and farts – they can happen at any time, literally, any time.
  • We have no control over our thoughts – it can take us on a round the world trip when we want to be still and it can not-move us even an inch when we want to go for a run in the morning.
  • We have little control on how our internal organs operate.
  • We have control over our limbs till the point we have a paralytic attack and then we feel so helpless
  • We don’t have control on what we see, as hyponsis and magic has proved that we can be convinced to see what others want us to see.
  • We don’t decide what web series we watch as Netflix and Amazon prime have curated it all.
  • We don’t read the social media, as Facebook and Linkedin control that.
  • We don’t decide what movie we watch, as its all based on reviews, algos running on the platform, etc.
  • We don’t decide what book we read, because out of the 130-140 million published books (in english), only a fraction of them, we are even aware of, in our lifetime. I am not even talking about regional languages here.

Now you will say, what’s the point of this article, i.e., apart from making us feel miserable and disgusted at ourselves??

What you have absolutely total control on, is writing a blog post on os.me. You can write what your heart tells you to, what comes to your mind, you can write about love, hatred, sexuality, diseases, challenges, victories, happy moments, sad moments, what you like, what you don’t like, what happened with you, what you wished happened to you, who called you names, who praised you, whom you praised, etc. etc.

What you ALSO have total control on is what you READ on os.me. There is no algo running in the background that will show you only Hetal’s post (unfortunately, I asked Medhaji if we can implement one and she said no with an angry look !!). There is no reason for you to come across only sad posts if you are sad and so also if you are happy. You can also comment on any post, write whatever you felt about the author, zero restrictions, zero censoring, the reader will have be able to read your comment instantaneously and he/she cannot do anything if you decided to condemn or criticize him on what he/she wrote.

Likhtey Rahiye, Padhtey Rahiye … OSDOTME !!

Out of control 2

 

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