We compared our job profiles, work load, expectations and most importantly – our salaries. While some of us earned a bomb compared to the other; all of us had some or the other grudge, a complaint of how unsatisfactory our lives were. More so, it even turned into an unintended competition to prove who had the most pathetic life amongst us.
While one friend complained about his lack of savings living in a different city alone, another claimed that turning into an entrepreneur takes away your family life, lest we talk about social life.
Me, the eternal pessimist (as most of my friends would call me) was not to be left behind. I too started bantering about my lowly income and the uncertainty that loomed over my future. I blamed all the mis-happenings that had further added to my woes. These were the hurdles that kept me behind others, which I truly believed.
Between all this insane competition and incessant complaining, I realized something. A sudden flashback to the time I was a kid dressed in half pants and carrying a school bag with water bottle. Oh! How proud were my parents to see me doing well academically!
My dad, a short man with average built but a heart of a lion. How he used to provide for my little childish demands. Making sure all of them fulfilled, even though some were a mere luxury at a time when necessities were met with difficulty.
My mother. A semi literate woman from a village far away from India. Leaving everything that rooted her with her whole childhood to make a life at a totally foreign country. Frail body and wavering health, yet a woman who can easily be the ideal mother anywhere in the world.
A sister. Who worked way too hard and way too much to meet the basic expectations from her. A parent’s first child, always to be an ideal for her younger sibling. And sometimes, more than that! How she used to struggle through long walks and uncomfortable bus rides to only come back home to a bunch of irritating kids to play the role of a tuition teacher. Just for some extra bucks that could help with the rising expenses of a lower middle class household.
It was then that I realized how foolish I was. With every argument I put forward to convince my friends of my professional misery, I was insulting every tired breath and every caring sigh that my family had expended to give me a life that I am living currently. A life where I hold a smartphone in my hand, a respectable job, decent income and the ability to put my points forward effortlessly in enviable English.
Am I asking too much? Too soon? Probably yes. Not everyone is blessed with a comfortable life. A strong family background. Not everyone has it easy. But somehow here I am. Standing toe to toe with guys who’ve had it easier. Not to mention that everyone has their own share of battles to fight, but my fight, my family’s fight has definitely been more than extraordinary.
So all this comparing and competing is useless. Even morally wrong. Comparison breeds jealousy. Appreciation breeds inspiration.
Hence I’ve decided. I’ll not compare. I’ll not complain. There’s only one way to go now. And that’s where I’ll head toward. Towards a life full of passionate work, heartfelt moments and thankful memories. A life where the ever so comfortable life of the youngest child brings a fairy-tale like happiness in his family’s future.