Thursday, May 23, 2024

True positive thinking in a world full of negative thinking

The world is full of clich├®s about how the best thing to do for yourself is to be yourself all the time. I used to think that quotes were for shallow people who were just obsessed with social media and being ‘real.’ Even before the rise of social media I used to detest them. I never paid too much attention to them because they seemed phony and thought up by some bored English professor or Philosopher or famous people who were either too melancholic or had too much time on their hands. But I am slowly learning that as overused as they are, they do touch some of the basic truths about humanity and life. So I love quotations.
They keep me going and they give me hope. One line from a song that immediately comes to mind is, “Be yourself no matter what they say.” It is truly hard being you especially in this day and age. Sometimes I get tired of fighting to be myself, i just say okay to things or agree just so people can leave me alone. And the older I get and the more I realise that I can’t have things my way the more I realise that maybe my ideas are not as novel as I might have initially thought. For example it gets easier to settle into jobs that give enough money to make the world go round and to settle for partners we did not imagine ourselves being with, just so we could fit in and have marriages and perfect families like the Joneses.
I was watching Modern Family the other day and learned that one of Phil Dumphey’s philosophies of life is, “Lower your expectations and you’ll enjoy life more.” This might seem like just another piece of comedy, but it is what it is. People lower their expectations every single day and they stop being themselves to the point where they can’t recognise who they are anymore. Sometimes this can be caused by lack of money, lack of self-esteem or mental disorders such as anxiety and crippling fear. Sometime back I went to CEDA to try and acquire a loan to start a very ambitious company. After they rejected my idea, one of the people who handled my case talked to me afterwards. He looked into the distance and seemed to be reminiscing about a time in the past. He said, “This will not work I’m telling you. We all used to have such ideas and we loved our ideas and wanted to pursue them at some point in our lives. But it never works.” He then sprinted, to avoid the rain, to his luxurious car and left me standing by the entrance waiting for the rain to subside before going to the taxis. He left me with a lot on my mind and a lot to ponder about.
As much as there are quotations of encouragement, there are also quotations about the other view of life such as, “Poverty is only romantic in novels.” I still believe in dreams but sometimes it’s difficult to ignore the chitty chatter and the noise of the world urging you to conform. Just the other day a colleague laughed at me when she realised that I had bought a book to read. It seemed ludicrous that I would spend money to buy a book and waste precious time just reading. I wonder what she’d say if I told her that I’m writing a novel and I still think about owning a profitable company. I don’t want to be the weirdo with big dreams. And I certainly do not want to be the joke of the century when it all fails.


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