Remember A.L. Tennyson’s ‘The Brook?’ There is one ever living line that has been stuck with me forever.
“Men may come and men may go, but I go on forever”
Similarly human thoughts are like the ever flowing perennial river, and every now and then it is important to record our thoughts just like the dams that are built to tap into the potential of the river.
What is going to be the use of recording our thoughts and how is it going to matter? For a moment, imagine what if 800,000 years ago, the people who invented/discovered fire, kept the warmth to themselves and never recorded the information. To them it was just an idea to stay out of cold, but it would’ve been very cold of them if they hadn’t passed on that information.
As human beings, one of the ways to grow (not just physically) is to pass on the information that we’ve gained in our lifetime to the next generation so that they can use it as a base to progress further and not to keep starting from scratch every time and falling into the same circle.
Unfortunately this learning phase has been very slow for most of us. You spend at least the first 18 years of your life, learning the fundamentals, half of which you’re highly unsure of where you’re going to use in practical situations. Some of them will further want to fall into this learning pool and spend 1/3rd of their life trying to master what has already been passed on as common knowledge.
I agree that we need masters in every field who maintain a ledger of the information, whom we can approach when we need guidance or reference. But should we consider the reference material as our Holy Bible or at times explore what is really out there?
Circling back to the imagination, given the knowledge on fire, what if the Mesopotamians of the 4th Century relaxed after mastering the art of fire? Would you have reached to this stage of smart phones and couch comfort, if they had never come up with the true symbol of progress ‘the wheel’?
History is filled with individuals and civilizations’s Eureka moments, who’ve defied the existing truths and proved their own hypothesis. For Srinivasa Ramanujan, the mathematics prodigy, an equation means nothing unless it expresses a thought of god. This is a man who was merely an explorer of infinity in the pursuit of absolute perfection, and in this pursuit even though he did not attain the ‘absolute perfection’, he had set an excellent path for the generations to follow.
It is not just history, take a look at the contemporary world around you. Men in suits who have become masters in their chosen field ended up working for creators in denims who created that field. I am not stating you need to drop out of college, but you need to figure out what is that you’re going to create out of studying. There are men who pursued education as a passion and sometimes education proved to be a stepping stone to reach their passion, but is your passion aligning with education (even remotely)?
All of us are walking on a sharp edged sword, but even a highly sharp sword can reach the state of Excalibur only based on the execution strategy. Yes, that’s the hardcore truth. Unfortunately, all of us have the inspiration serum reaching its high every time someone uses keywords like ‘passion’, ‘success’, ‘making an impact’ and other synonyms; it is the stories like Slumdog Millionaire, Wolf of Wall Street and similar rags to riches stories that have a commercial value. Look on the critical side as well sometimes, all of these stories had the right execution and it had been a team effort through out.
Somehow critical review and criticization has overlapped over the years. When the former can be constructive, to learn from one’s (sometimes others’) mistakes and pick themselves up from a roadblock; the latter is pure ignorance of the situation and mindless rants on the individual. Learn to differentiate between the two and choose wisely.
Think again, do you want to be a master in someone’s field or creator of your field?
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