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Are You Happy?

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

The famous cartoon character Pooh from the series, Winnie the Pooh, asked his friend Piglet, “What day is it?” to which the Piglet replied, “It’s today”. “My favorite day”, replied Pooh.

There is an unwritten belief in the world that lesser talented people succeed while more talented people don’t, which is why people criticize those who achieve success. But what if this statement is not true? Let us try to explore the possible answer for one of the biggest paradoxes of all time: Why lesser talented people succeed and talented people lose out? Or let me rephrase it: Why rich people are often the least educated or dropouts who employ the best educated and smartest people?

Ever since the mankind has gained some semblance of civilization, the concept of guilt and wrongdoing has also appeared. Instead of the feeling of self sufficiency due to the abundance of resources in nature, certain things which were scared became the center of jealousy and pride for possession. Since then the wrongdoing and guilt has become an integral part of mankind. Naturally, whoever was found of any wrongdoing was charged guilty and sent to prisons. Prison, in lay terms, is the name of that establishment, which try to keep guilty people away from the social set-up called society. Prisoners, as the people kept in prisons are called, are those perceived as guilty and breakers of societal norms. However if we observe closely, we would find that we all are prisoners of something – prisoner of past, prisoner of convictions, etc. But, in greater reality, we are the prisoners of a more acute form of invisible force – prisoner of habits, both individual and collective. Individual habits like smoking, drug & alcohol abuse, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc., while collective habits like being a slave of routine, of calendars and clocks and deadlines. If it’s Sunday and it’s 6 AM, it means one can sleep for an additional 2 - 3 hours. However, if it’s Monday and 6 AM, then it’s time to get up and get ready to go to office/school.

But, more than anything else; we have become prisoners of complexities. The more technology we invent to make our lives comfortable and simple, the more complex we make the world. Consequently, the children have to waste 20 – 25 years of their best years in studying these complexities in schools and universities. And the sad part is that, despite giving (or is it wasting?) the best year of their lives, they can’t find a suitable job because what they read and learned has become obsolete as in the meantime we have made our lives more complex.

Probably, this will solve one of the greatest paradoxes of all time – why educated people work for the least educated? Why rich people are often the least educated/dropouts, who – ironically – employ the best educated/smartest people? The answer is simple – while the educated people spend their time studying the obsolete complexities of the world in schools, the dropouts in the meantime keep themselves updated with the recent changes in the complexities in the streets. This funnily though, makes the dropouts more ready to seize the opportunities that come than the school-educated people. Educated people are the prisoners of their past (of what they’d learned from outdated school syllabus) while dropouts don’t carry any such baggage because they know, irrespective of their past failures or grand success (in short, their experiences), the complexities of the world will only increase which would render their experiences meaningless and hence, they have to keep their eyes more open and logic more fluid. Educated people, in essence, become the prisoner of complexities.

But lucky are those who don’t have to live within the restrictions of clocks and calendars. For them, it’s neither Sunday nor Monday, but today. The famous cartoon character Pooh from the series, Winnie the Pooh, asked his friend Piglet, “What day is it?” to which the Piglet replied, “It’s today.” “My favorite day,” said an excited Pooh. Certainly Pooh didn’t carry any past baggage. Certainly, the famous dropouts who run the world’s biggest and powerful organizations share a similar philosophy like our cute cartoon character Pooh. For they are wise enough to know that one today is worth many yesterdays and hundreds of tomorrows. And those who want to stay away from understanding the world’s complexities or those who don’t admit to be a prisoner of complexities indulges in another kind of imprisonment – the prisoner of fashion, which is the urge to wear what others are wearing, even if it’s not comfortable; to copy what others are copying, even if they don’t have money to indulge. They put on clothes to show off people, whom they don’t care about, so that no one would dare to strike up a conversation and ask the most vital question faced by humanity –‘Are you happy?

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