Yesterday’s post, which you probably read – if not go and read it now here, received some interesting comments from our wise readers, some commented on Facebook, some through email and some via phone. In all cases it seemed like every one pretty much agrees that a career is what one’s goal has to be and a job is nothing but a stop gap measure, a time filler if you will. One comment said that work is not supposed to be fun while another said if one is married then the choice of ‘career’ is not viable. Although the post did not directly state it, the inference I was aiming for was whether compromise is acceptable and if so, to what degree.
From a practical stand point, the choice is not straight forward for someone who is at the fork of his/her mid-adult life. You have the expectations of your family to succeed and become a respectable adult in the society so that your parents and kin can feel proud. You had spent a significant amount of money and immeasurable amount of toil from the care takers of your youthful self for your education and it is only fair that you are expected to not squander away all that was provided to you in pursuit of, what might ultimately turn out to be, just a dream. Does leaping off of the current stable platform in hopes of flying warrant support?
And what about you aspirations for wealth and luxury and all other pleasures that any high minded man of ambition is sure to expect out of his life? You see it in movies and you would like have some of them. You read it in posh magazines and you make silent oath to acquire it some day. Billboards, articles, friends and random strangers introduce wealth, both physical and emotional, that almost always leave a man wanting. A veering career choice can squash all these dreams in an instant. For immigrants with regulatory restrictions, its a whole different ball game.
Lastly, the biggest hurdle of all, when does one know him or herself enough to make that leap? If one is brought up in an environment that focuses on following the herd and staying in line, taking the unconventional road is bitterly painful, not just for the self, but for all loved ones involved. And the forces, that are masters at beating down anything that sticks up, both from the external world and the internal conscience, are simply overpowering. Surely, all of these things can’t be wrong at the same time.
So, I guess the question I wanted to pose was how much compromise is enough? If one is in a stable job with a potential for a good and relatively safe future for the self and the loved ones, is it worth to risk it all?
Is it worth to chase a dream even if one is not sure if one can succeed or, even worse, if one is not even sure what the dream is?
A quick shout out to Naren, Balaji, Dev and Kamal for their precious comments. Also, warm thanks to Sen for his encouraging remarks over IM chat. Much appreciated all. Oddly enough, Mr.M is missing.
23 down. 342 more to go. See you tomorrow.
(I am on a blog-a-day-for-a-year crusade. Keep me motivated with your comments. Or cash)