Forty-Five and An Ignored Pillar!

Birthday. I completed forty-five yesterday. It is time for reflection. I don’t know why. Amidst the surrounding frenzy on this day, I long for the silence, and in those silence, the only question that comes to my mind is ‘Did my existence matter’? Perhaps, A case of reading too much of self-help literature!

The final moments of the great movie ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ keeps playing on my mind and there is a question that Sir Alec Guinness asks to himself ‘What did the sum total of my life represent’?. That is a question I struggle to answer. Perhaps, A case of watching too many inspirational movies!

Looking back, the quantum of time that has gone in the last two decades have been around four pillars. The distribution is as below.

If I have to co-relate time spent with impact at each of these pillars I just managed to maintain status-quo and followed to the letter the principle of ‘Do No Harm.’

I can take pride in the fact that I stuck to the ‘Golden Mean’ popularized by Aristotle.

The effect of sticking to the golden mean has resulted in a ‘Zero Sum Game, ‘ and that is the sum total of my life.

When I ask myself the question of ‘What prevented me from changing the status quo’? I could come up with one answer.

‘Compliance and External Validation’

Being compliant with the established norms of the four pillars and seeking validation from the stakeholders in those pillars had made me ignore one critical pillar and can you guess what it is?

It is my ‘Self.’

Two-thirds of my life gone and I have zero clues on what I want to be. I have been deaf to the voices exploding inside me and I have lived the quote ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ that I heard in my moral science class. I do not find a subject called ‘Moral Science’ in any of the school curricula now! And I am wondering if I contributed to that in some way!

I do not know if adding a pillar called ‘Self’ will turn me into an ego-maniac, but I have decided two things

· Increase the time spent on ‘Self’

· Worry less about compliance and external validation

The second reason is why this post appears here instead of my blog.

At this time, I have no personal evidence to prove that the additional pillar will help me alter the status quo, but no harm in making a beginning. Better late than never.

What are your governing pillars? Are they different?

If I ask you to click on the clap symbol, is it a sign of seeking external validation ?

Have Fun. (Enjoy Maadi is how we say in my part of the world)