Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Vicarious Life

Never ever in my wild dreams I saw myself turn into a workaholic. I had never imagined that life would throw such surprises that I would one day look at myself and ask, “Buddy, where were you all these days”. It is a sort of revelation for me to discover so many colors within me which till now never showed up.

A blank meanderer all through my life, suddenly I find one lifetime too less for things to be done. 24 hours too less for a day. And boy! Am I loving this feeling?

But there is something else happening along side this. Since, I sense, that I have lost so much time in discovering myself and I could have achieved so much more if I had more time, there is a tendency to outsource this desire onto others. To plant on others and see them achieve things that I myself have missed the bus. To get the same sense of gratification, albeit through proxy. In short, to succeed vicariously.

It took me a few days of contemplation and self talk to realise that I am doing the same. Seeking vicarious gratification through my younger sister.

Soon after her 12th, I burden her with a list of loaded “To Do” goals that she needs to achieve before graduating. Few go like this: set up a city wide youth public speaking club, organizing a summer camp for kids, start her own Internet business. What I was doing through this was trying to ignite the same passion in her through me.

Alas! It back fired. Instead of asking her to live her age and do her own things her own way, I thirsted things which I fancied doing through her. So it failed to light the spark in her because it never originated in her at the first place.

It’s not an one off thing. Everyone at some point or other in his life tries to derive this vicarious thrill through others, usually with their young ones.

It is a grave mistake to plant your convictions, your beliefs, and your opinions on them. Instead, what you could do is create a breeding ground in their bosom to kindle their own passions. As I write this, I am reminded of a beautiful thought of a character in the novel, Kite Runner, which says:

“"Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors."


Smile Wednesday, April 08, 2009 1:42:00 AM  
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