Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both. A dilemma faced by most. Whether it be as complex as a career pathway or as simple as a decision to do the chores, we can all relate to this.
When we are given the choice between a stable, familiar path or an exciting but risky slope, most people often pick the path most travelled, whether it be forced or not. But would you rather drive straight on a smooth road for miles or climb a rocky mountain to sit back and enjoy the view?
I’m aware this will not apply to everyone, but to the lucky 1%, this one is for you. We are often presented with a very limited number of pathways to pick from, especially growing up in India. Due to various reasons, parents often pressure their kids to either pursue medicine, engineering, accounting and finance or law. Most Indian families are extremely concerned about status and the way they are viewed in society.
Having listened to the same ideology for years, it is often difficult to change their mindset. While these fields will most likely provide you with a great lifestyle, great money and a great status in society, will it make you feel great as well? Exposing kids to such a narrow mindset is what fosters rebellion.
It is as simple as saying, ‘you want what you can’t have’. Giving them the option to explore various areas will not only help them figure out what they want to do with their lives, but also give them the time to develop the skills for it.
The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose. – James Baldwin
Art, anthropology, basketball, choir, dance, ethics, fashion, gaming, history…zoology. Every single alphabet contains a profession. We learn the A-Z in preschool but we don’t learn the A-Z in real life. We see ambitious kids wanting to become astronauts and artists, but as adults we instantly disregard them. Even the education system is built in a way to limit students from widening their horizons. As we grow older, the more we grow colder.
I know the world needs technical professions, the world needs doctors, the world needs lawyers. But what is life without art? Without music? What is life without a balance. If there are people in this world that want to save lives, there needs to be people in this world that want to save souls. Knowing the difference between the two can make all the difference in the world.
Do you want to be your own individual or do you want to conform to society?
When it comes to college, it is a commitment that you are making to a potentially unknown realm. When people decide what they want to pursue at the age of 18, they often realise later on that this is not where they want to be. When you enroll yourself in college and dislike it at an early stage, they either end up spending the next 4 years in an environment where they are not growing or learning, or they drop out and find it hard to cope.
So when you are presented with the option of doing something unconventional, just know that the road is going to be very, very long. It takes a lifetime to develop your skills and anyone who tells you otherwise is just lying. There will be a lot of criticism and self doubt (at first). People can (and will) be cruel or unconstructive towards you and your work. Grow a very thick skin.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.