It all begins with a smile. A casual question there, an enquiry here, just to make sure the child is studying with full effort in Class 10 and he or she takes up the right choice of stream while entering Class 12. Of course, the ‘right choice’ is almost always a fancy word – it had to be Science, as it was a well established fact that Science produced all the ultimate winners. One could go for Commerce as a second option, although if there existed no intentions on becoming a chartered accountant, success wouldn’t really find you. The third option never existed, at the least not if one needed to achieve the pinnacles of success. Humanities; the name plays well with irony. Nobody was ready to tag success with the subject that apparently focused on what made an individual human. If the child mistakenly arrives upon this choice of future, adults took it upon themselves to bring in a cold splash of reality.
Looking at the whole world as a perspective, every religion and every philosophical book had deemed humans to be powerful. Power wasn’t always on the basis of physical strength; it was decided because of the simple reason that we possessed the extraordinary weapon of choice – choosing between options, dilemmas, people, right or wrong. Each one of us have the astonishing option of preference to become something different, something unique, something that would label us different from the individual sitting next to us. However, in this present scenario, success is labelled in your manner of attempting to become as similar as is possible to the next ‘successful’ individual, setting a chain of mass produced robots.
Academic qualifications are vital – but only as a single part included in the entirety of your performance of your life as a play. The factor that allows the play to be entertaining, emotional, funny and relatable is solely one’s individuality. Experiences in life provide the foundation to an individual; academics contribute to the furnishing and polishing. One needs to have a basic grounding in subjects such as Maths and Science, which increases the possibility of success but never solidifies it. These qualifications then may ensure the official label that defines you are capable for a specific type of work, but it will never ensure the amount of hard work you will put in, or the confidence you display or even the communication skills to be showcased.
Success in itself is an elusive term with varying definitions. For many individuals, it essentially means a constant source of income and a stable job. For some others, it is to possess a happy family and to spend quality time with them. Great power and overflowing stacks of money may be for someone else. It is not a crime to dream, we are all well aware of the adage that encourages us to aim for the stars to gain the mountain. In dreams, we can fly as high as the bird or sink further than even the Earth. The poison here is the society which has stuck with its prehistoric ideals of success – an individual must possess multiple academic degrees with no depth, must have an income to provide for the entire neighbourhood and a perfect family of a wife and two kids. A black point if the ‘selfish’ mother leaves her poor children and runs away for a job; who will then provide for the entire neighbourhood with her husband’s income? The society unfortunately stretches out its dark influence to make sure that every person adheres to these conditions. One is well aware of the repercussions that are sure to be attracted if an individual strays from the intended path – those mistakes will be burned onto your soul, the mark left for curious eyes, to remind that no one does good straying from the marked path.
Education often defines the importance of a person in his or her entire life. Academic success does possess the ability to transform life by training the person in self-discipline and the proof of achievements that they thus gain in academic ability differentiates the individual in the society. These qualifications are used by the society to measure their respective knowledge in certain subject matters while meeting its needs and simultaneously providing opportunities of earning a living from this. Educated people form a civilized and developed nation, where all the knowledge and options are used for ethical and moral reasons in life. Education also makes one aware of their rights and freedom in life which makes them consequently able to strengthen the country, aiming for a better government and subsequently, a better nation. However, all these are not everybody’s fundamental necessities for success in life – simply qualifications for a basic individual. What of qualifications which makes one stay away from their family deprived of the family time they so desire? What of qualifications if the society views you as just an artist despite your art being breathtaking?
Life is a canvas. Your brush signifies your academic qualifications, shaped by the trials you have gone through and the diverse exposure that you have been blessed with. The paints are your individuality, the colour and the movement signifying your technique of achieving goals. It will be influenced by your environment, your circumstances and the knowledge you gained when studying. This never means that you need to copy off that beautiful woman on your right who splashes her canvas lovingly with hues of red and white, who everyone is secretly awed by. Neither does it require for you to secretly stare at the man in front, with his confident brushstrokes of blue and gold, his posture that dictates his charisma which everyone openly appreciates. It is simply enough that you focus on your canvas, let your brush flow and maybe you will be more than satisfied with the secretive yet resounding strokes of black and white that appears on your canvas, your individuality splayed across for everybody to breathe in.