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The three things we do (or don't do) that define us



Would you take a year off from your well-paying job to go write what you hope will turn out to be a bestseller? Will you go challenge someone that looks like Vin Diesel for a fight? Will you go chat up that supermodel surrounded by a lot of her friends and get her phone number? Will you take out a loan to start a new business that nobody is willing to fund? Probably not.

Will you sign up to be an Uber driver in your spare time to earn more money? Will you sign up to deliver pizza that people order online? Will you cheat a poor shopkeeper out of his money just for the fun of it? Will you vote for someone like Rakhi Sawant (she did contest an election I think)? Probably not.

Will you take two weeks out to travel to a new place every year? Will you occasionally put in long hours at work without complaining? Will you take out a loan to buy a flat? You probably will.

Everything that we all do (or don't do) is analogous to one of the three groups above.

The first set of things are the ones we think are out of our league, things that people similar to us don't dare do. These are things that have potentially high rewards but are risky enough to have a high probability of causing us harm or loss or embarrassment. These are things we secretly dream of doing, but never work up the courage to actually do it. These are things that we experience vicariously - by reading books and articles by people that have actually done it, by encouraging others around to do them - but never do them ourselves.

The second set of things are the ones we think are beneath our standard, things that we don't want to be seen doing by people similar to us. We don't do them either out of our self-righteous beliefs or due to the fear of being embarrassed or because we think these ought to be done by people "not as good as us, not as well off as us".

The third set is our comfort zone. Things that most people like us do and things that help us fit into such a community of people.

I know the demographic of my readers, so I could pose these questions as examples. However, I'm sure there are people that have a different way of classifying things into the same three sets. And that is the bottomline of diversity. Our gender, race, background, religion are all proxies for how we classify things into these three sets.

But, I'll write about diversity another day.

What got me thinking about these are the protagonists - Vicky, Cristina, Juan Antonio and Maria Elena - from the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Vicky is the practical one with set ideas of what are things people like her do, what's beneath her and what's out of her league, while Cristina is the romantic who has no such pre-conceived notions. Although the movie deals with this idea within the ambit of the topic love, this is a fairly generic way of looking at things.

And I'll end this (just like in the movie) by not putting out an opinion on which is the better way to be. 

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1 comments:

  1. Nice article Kumara. Thank you for the movie suggestion. :)

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