Who I Am

An apt reminder today about where my identity lies, and how a skew of that perspective can be so detrimental to how we treat our work, our activities in life and the people around us. Perhaps it was a little appropriate that the person whose blog i read it from took nearly exactly the same path i went down a year back – i don’t know if it would be appropriate to say that i’m glad i didn’t make that perspective a choice when it was one.

As much as i can understand the want to excel and the pursuit of the perfect grades, lately i’ve been having problems understanding the extent to which some people can bring this to. Part of it was reflected in my last post, but even more than just that, i would like to pen a few thoughts on how we treat other people as well in view of what i’ve read.

It seems like the person blogging (henceforth referred to in this post as Person A) had this deep dislike against particular groups of people because they seem to have things handed to them on a silver platter, by virtue of their resources, their parents’ affluence, or their standing in the educational system, defined presumably by the grades that they get, or more specifically, whether they are in the Gifted Education Program (GEP) or not. Now while i understand that yes, treatment is perhaps a tad different in the two different programs (GEP and Express stream, for example), is it all really that much of an importance? Despite what people say about employers looking very much at grades, i think the world these days have changed; it seems very much to me that employers are looking more for people who are passionate, who can carry themselves appropriate to the profession, and failing which, are willing to learn. Maybe it contradicts some theories about the modern economy that have recently sprung up in the light of the rapid changes that have taken place, but i’m no academic so i shall not expouse on such ideas.

Why i cannot understand that is that i believe that we all have a choice in the matter. Maybe circumstances have forced us into certain conditions, or maybe we weren’t born as smart – it is possible. But we were all born with a brain, and seeing as we are university students (which admittedly are already part of the elite class), we do have a choice in how we react to the situation that befalls us. On my part, i know i’m not as smart as some of my other friends – so i work hard, but not to the extent that it affects anything else in my life.

Seeing as how much the GEP students have been stereotyped, in a way i’m glad that i’m didn’t enter into that programme, though i must qualify that this feeling has nothing to do with the people i know: all the GEPs i’ve met so far are excellent people and friends (with one exception, and he doesn’t read this blog so if you’re reading it, it’s not you) and for our information, they worked pretty damn hard to get where they are. Academics or not, all talent has to be cultivated and if it’s just sitting there, no matter how much you have, it’s not going to be of any use. For those who are familiar with the Bible, the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 come to mind.

So back to what i was saying, if you want something that you don’t have and people are unable to give you, then you work for it. It’s as simple as that – even if you take into account that God does provide whatever you need, He’s not going to plop just anything you wish into your lap, especially if it means you’re not going to use it, like the parable says. We aren’t supposed to demand our rights, but renounce them.

I’ve said this before and i’ll say it again: i think what counts is really what you do with what you have, and not how much you have in the first place.

On a side note, why does it seem that everything we talk to people about seem to rotate about something that is to be done out of a necessity, that conversation has to be initiated to achieve a certain purpose and every statement has an implication of doing something? Have we become so busy that we should be rightfully called human do-ings instead of be-ings because we have forgotten simply how to “be”?

Tuning back to the channel of my life then, it seems that the sleeplessness that i blogged about the other day has still plagued me since then – i find it hard to sleep until it’s 4 or 5 am and then i wake up at 11am or 12noon. Granted that if you calculate the hours, it’s enough sleep to get by (more than enough actually), but it’s sure not quality sleep and it puts me in a rather unproductive standing for the rest of the day.

Just to end off this post, something that struck me a few days back was one of the comments made by Ravi Zacharias‘ in one of his sermons – “there is never a reason to be unkind”.

Thank you folks, you’ve been a great audience. Free popcorn refills are available at the popcorn stand ’cause we have to get rid of the leftovers somehow so bring them home and don’t tell anyone else where you got them from! Never drink and derive; alcohol and calculus don’t mix…and don’t forget to tip the ushers 🙂

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