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Tick tock tick tock

Age is the price you pay for maturity. It's a heavy price.

I'm 29 and I don't know yet how I'm going to change the world. Feel like I don't have enough time left or at least I won't by the time I figure it out. I don't want to be forgotten or relegated to a footnote. And a major achievement isn't enough. I want my work to remembered down the ages. To change the way people think about things or to change the way the world works.

Einstein
Gandhi
Freud
Adam Smith
Michaelangelo
Buddha
Van Gogh

The odds aren't that great. People seem to know more and more about less and less. The age of the generalist might be over so intellectual advance will probably be incremental rather than revolutionary and the revolutionary stuff is likely to be collaborative anyway.

If I could pick one thing to do I'd like to become a preacher who changes the way people think about themselves and about events to achieve emotional well being. That would stop all wars and arguments and disappointments and sadness. But you know... Buddha already did that and there are so many self help books that do the job anyway. So now what?

If my life were an empty canvas then I would be sitting there dabbing at it tentatively wondering where to start, what to paint and in which colours. And wishing I wasn't getting so damn old so fast (and perhaps wondering why the hell I was painting in my underwear)

So here's a question... if your life was a canvas what would you like to have achieved that you could contribute to the world?

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
patrodz
Aug. 24th, 2006 02:47 pm (UTC)
Turning 29 soon too
And dabbing on the canvas with whatever colours I get. Not a pretty sight at present.

Someday I hope to write stuff which will make people peaceful, happy, contemplative, and so on. Things about experiences, life, people, places, mindsets. Some of them life changing, some of them verbal hallucinogens.

Am I there? Am I even started?

Nope. At the moment I don't even think I can write a proper sentence, forget writing which will put people on a trip.
(Deleted comment)
kanishka_sinha
Aug. 26th, 2006 06:21 pm (UTC)
Maybe not but what bothers me is that most people are well on their way by 29 in doing what they ultimately perfected and gave to the world. Gandhi was probably already protesting in South Africa, Freud was probably deeply into psychology, Einstein was already mulling over what the world would look like from the back of a light beam, Hitler was wheedling his way into political power.

At 29 I'm selling soap. If I become really good at it I'll sell a lot of soap. Will I be remembered by posterity for that? Do I even want to be remembered by posterity for that? I'm trying to figure out what I'm good at and passionate about that I could take to the next next level and make a (big) difference
shivani_smith
Aug. 24th, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC)
Good question. In terms of the people you mention, it's kind of the whole 'some have greatness thrust upon them etc etc' concept isn't it?
Gandhi didn't start becoming an activist till he was middle aged and Van Gogh only achieved fame after he died. And as for his effect on the world, or Freud's, were they really as influential and earth changing as all that?

My own canvas would probably be more like one of those posters made up of gazillions of smaller pictures, that fit together like a mosaic to create an overall image. I'd like the thumbnails to be about me giving more to the world and to my world, than I take away. No matter how small each individual act is.

Overall then, I'd want my life to have been productive and useful. I'd like to have made a net positive contribution to the planet, made people happier and made the world a little better.

Not hugely ambitious and radical, but little drops of water...
dsvikki
Aug. 24th, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC)
My canvas would have a lot of smiley faces...in the hope that i can spread cheer,make people laugh ....not that i relieve ppl of their numerous problems...but alteast make them smile for a while and forget their worries
kanishka_sinha
Aug. 26th, 2006 06:22 pm (UTC)
If you're serious we should get together and form a dance duo. With our distinctive dancing styles we can easily do that :)
arunshanbhag
Aug. 25th, 2006 12:15 am (UTC)
but why bother about such things in abstract! Lets just change/improve ourselves to be the best we can be. If everybody did that - there would no need to change the world.

*ok, getting off my high horse*
I consciously do things which are important to me - travel, photography and writing. Perhaps some of this will inspire others, some may not. But I can't worry about others. I just need to stay grounded and true to 'myself.'
kanishka_sinha
Aug. 26th, 2006 06:24 pm (UTC)
I can't help being a megalomaniac. It's who I am. Just wish I was a megalomaniac with a little bit more clarity on how to achieve greatness
(Anonymous)
Aug. 26th, 2006 04:12 pm (UTC)
"To change the way people think about things or to change the way the world works"

Well, Gandhi once said:
"Be the change that you want see in the world"

Santa
kanishka_sinha
Aug. 26th, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC)
But I'm fed up of changing myself. I want to change everything. I don't need to make myself less rascist. I need to remove rascism from the world (or something on that scale).
shiv_arya
Sep. 2nd, 2006 04:41 am (UTC)
whats up?
hey Kanishk
how are things? hope all is well
cheers
shiv.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 3rd, 2006 04:18 pm (UTC)
hmm
i dont know if this is anyway similar, but what has been bothering me for the past year is to find something that im 'passionate' about. growing up in the indian middle class family, i dont even know what i really 'want' to do in life. and doing something which one is really passionate about...may lead to the deed/person be remembered for ages?

without thinking, if i just put in words what i feel, i would like to put a smile on the face of every child on this planet

-bAaLu
kanishka_sinha
Sep. 24th, 2006 05:45 am (UTC)
Re: hmm
This is the back cover for 'My God died young' by Sasthi Brata:

'Reinbaud stopped writing poetry at nineteen... Jesus was crucified at 33; jack Kennedy was shot at 46. I am 29 years old. What have I done? What am I capable of doing? Who am I?'

Alternatively tender and brutal Sasthi Brata lays bare the shams of tradition bound society in India as well as the West with his no holds barred honesty and astonishing insight and understanding.
illusorynirvana
Sep. 12th, 2006 04:55 am (UTC)
Vivekananda spoke at the World Parliament of Religions in 1893 and had the whole of America in rapture at the age of 30. That is a sobering thought. Where are we heading? What have we done? I have thought it many times myself. Are we going to live the life of worms, alive today, dead tomorrow and forgotten the day after?

I was reading some quotes by Vivekananda and thought I'd share them with you..

- Take up one idea, make that one idea your life; think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave any other idea alone. This is the way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced. Others are mere talking machines!

-A hundred thousand men and women, fired with the zeal of holiness, fortified with eternal faith in the Lord, and nerved to lion’s courage by their sympathy for the poor and the fallen and the downtrodden, will go over the length and breadth of the land, preaching the gospel of salvation, the gospel of help, the gospel of social raising up- the gospel of equality.

-So long as the millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every man a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them!

-Arise, awake, for your country needs this tremendous sacrifice. It is the young men that will do it. ‘The young, the energetic, the strong, the well-built, the intellectual’- for them is the task.

-This national ship of ours, my countrymen, has been plying for ages, carrying civilizations and enriching the whole world with its inestimable treasures. For scores of shining centuries, this national ship of ours has been ferrying across the ocean of life, and has taken millions of souls to the other shore, beyond all misery. But today, it may have sprung a leak and got damaged, through your own fault or whatever cause it matters not. What would you, who have places yourselves in it, do now? Would you go about cursing it and quarelling among yourselves? Woulr you all not unite together and put your best efforts to stop the holes? Let us all gladly give our hearts’ blood to do this; and if we fail in the attempt, let us all sink and die together, with blessings and not curses on our lips.
kanishka_sinha
Sep. 14th, 2006 04:18 am (UTC)
Sobering indeed and wise words
(Anonymous)
Sep. 15th, 2006 06:12 am (UTC)
talking about not enough time left, some say that the first man to live a thousand years was born around 1959

gaurav
kanishka_sinha
Sep. 15th, 2006 12:41 pm (UTC)
Even I could achieve something in a thousand years. Hope the next one is me
(Anonymous)
Apr. 18th, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
Dude, None of these guys achieved greatness because they wanted to achieve greatness. They did what had to and greatness came as a perk. Know yourself and give you best. Do not go around thinking you have to achieve greatness, else you will screw your happiness and also make people around you miserable.
kanishka_sinha
Apr. 18th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
Done :)
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