What to do in life?

What is it that I want to do in life? A perplexing but inevitable question that crops up every now and then in mind. This happens especially when one set of plans which looked good so far, crumbles down for one reason or other. The resulting vacuum is disturbing and unsettling. Its always better to have some kind of plans, however stupid they are. I myself don't know how many times I have scrapped and redrawn the plans.

When I was a kid, this question used to be asked a little differently..'Who do you want to be, when you grow up?'. It was one of the simplest questions to answer then - a bus driver or a policeman. Those were two of the role models at that time.. the only two profiles that seemed to command respect from others. An additional option came a little later with the so called 'spiritual awakening' - a priest. He was also a well respected guy who was welcome everywhere.. till I found out that the closest he ever gets to women is in the confession box. Now that was unacceptable... even at that point in life. The white rob also was pretty repulsive.. lacked the charm of a police uniform.

Then came television which showed me 'rest of the world'. Those 20 inches started framing the world and events for me, and all I ever wanted to become was a rock star. The fact that I could play a few tunes on Dad's harmonica was proof that I could make it. But seeing my attempt to grow long hair, the headmistress told me that I am in a 'school' and not in some 'circus'. Later when 'career aspirations' took over, every ambition got converted into some kind of money making ventures. If you like insects and bugs, you should become a biologist... if you like staring at the night sky, you should become an Astrophysicist and so on.

Life moved on and I somehow managed to avoid becoming an Engineer or Doctor, the standard prescriptions for sensible kids those days. That brought back the question once again.. 'now what?'. I decided to do nothing for a while, as I was not really sure what to do in life. But sitting idle is taboo and is always considered as a sign of weakness, stupidity and lack of ambitions. People can't breathe alright till they find you enslaved to some kind of a system and control. Anyway, I was too lazy to explain and managed to do exactly the same under the guise of 'MBA Exam preparations'.

Life suddenly seemed to regain some purpose and direction once I enrolled in the B-School. Though the concepts of Management were interesting and exciting, all I used to do was apply once a quarter to the "National Geographic', for the post of 'somebody' in their expeditions into the wild. When I realized that even the light boy who accompanied the camera crew had a double PhD in Animal Behavior, I called it quits. Eventually as time passed, I developed into this 'something', part of a system, working, earning and it all looked good. I even managed to convince a girl that I am actually human and not some uncultured uncouth animal!!

Then like in the movies, I also heard this voice from nowhere.. 'Are you happy?'. I said 'of course!'. The voice continued 'Are you happy when everyone else has gone home?'. That kind of caught me. By this time I had also read 'The Transition Handbook'(Rob Hopkins), 'The One Straw Revolution'(Fukuoka), 'The Selfish Gene'(Richard Dawkins) and 'Breaking the Spell'(Dan Dennett)... a pretty unsettling cocktail I say. I sat down thinking about what the voice said, and the question once again came back to haunt - What do I want to do in life! After a lot of deliberations, I came up with an answer of sorts.. and this is how it looks now: "I want to lead a self sustained life, closer to nature, with the least possible impact on the environment, giving back more to the society than I consume, raising a few kids who view the world without blinkers"

Recently, I had some compelling reasons to re-evaluate the goal, but I am kind of sticking with it. But doesn't it look stupid?... I rather not comment on that. A rolling stone gathers no moss and a closed mouth gathers no foot..!!

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