It is hard to believe that a mere permutation of certain words read somewhere can make you scream out that this is what you’ve always wanted to say to the world. I came across such an excerpt while reading the work of Gillian Flynn. And it was at this moment I knew that I was in love with that text.
‘Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull eyed underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can’t recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn’t immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A fucking commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blase: Seeeen it. I’ve literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can’t anymore. I don’t know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say;when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We all are working from the same dog-eared script. It’s very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless automat of characters. And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we dont have genuine souls.’
Reading new things always holds the possibility amazing you to unbelievable extents and this was possibly one of those moments for me.
For those of you hoping to land upon a secretive name of a place that would learn you everything you’ve always wanted to, there’s no such place! Perhaps conveying sarcasm over text is not my forte. Before you start labeling me as the ‘rebel’ and start bashing me allow me a brief explanation.
OK, entering the last year I did at least learn a few things. I learnt how to stretch a two day project for a month, I learnt how to function high on coffee to complete a whole semester’s worth of work in a night. I learned how to live with kids my own age and quite frankly I do best living alone. For the most part, when I reflect on the years I spent, I realize it was a colossal waste of time. I remember nothing of what I crammed up during exams and tests. What I remember though are experiences and not study stuff.
Now, of course it is important to get that piece of paper that says that you graduated. Telling the world that you were among the elite, the ones to pass the system(Congratulations). I’ve come to realize that no one cares where you went unless its the Ivy league. I see people studying computers and then getting a bank job. I mean seriously? People who are too busy to socialize just because they have academic pressure!
I never did learn to advocate truth. Never did I learn to back myself up when the world was against me.I did not learn to stand up against a friend for his well being. I did not get to know how to make others happy. I did not get to know how to make me happy. It is because we often want answers to be handed to us. We look for these answers but in reality they can only be known by experiencing and not by studying about them. Things like reason and logic can be learnt. There is no place that will teach you Empathy, Maturity, Kindness, Loyalty etc. We often try to understand the bigger picture and in process leave out important things such as these.
My attitude may seem lackadaisical but I am genuinely concerned about learning the real essence of life. Looking back, I realize I am not my grades. I am the unique composition of what I learnt through the “school of life”. I’ll always consider it a better educator than college.