Assumptions, Assumptions….

Another thing I encountered when I was in India was the idea that various people hold there about those who are living or raised in America aren’t as good as those in India. Before I go more into this, I just want to reiterate that these aren’t the thoughts of every single person. It is just a thought of several people I came across on this particular trip. I am fully aware that not everyone thinks like this.

My family visited this couple while we were there. In this visit, the husband proceeded to mention how things in America aren’t as good and this was better in India and that was better in India. The wife went ahead and mentioned that we were all forced to work in America and no one could just work because they enjoyed their job. Now while their statements may have some truth to them (but certainly not entirely true), I wondered why the comparisons had to even come up.

We compare things when we need to feel like we’re doing the better thing. It’s to assure us that we aren’t missing out on anything or the worse of the two things we are comparing.

It really felt like this couple was making comparisons about their lives in India with ours in America because there was some envy about the fact that we did come from America. The only way to feel better about the fact that they weren’t in America was to put it down. Nothing was as good for us as it was for them. It made me also wonder what they thought of me. Here they were making these comparisons while I, a product of America, was sitting right there. And as I had mentioned in a previous post, just because I don’t speak Hindi or Punjabi fluently doesn’t mean I don’t understand about 80% or more of what’s being said. And I really wasn’t thrilled hearing a few people who decided to put my hometown down because they either didn’t want to or couldn’t live there.

I am aware that things are different between living in America and living in India. I was born and raised here so to live in India just doesn’t seem like something I personally could ever do. But I have met people who have been able to move there and really love it as well as those having been born there and never wanting to move away. India is also still growing as an independent nation (with only 60 years or so of being an independent country under its belt) so comparing everything to America (with over 200 years of independence) is also not the wisest thing to do. It’ll take time for both countries to be comparable. I am hoping that, one day, they will be.

I believe I had mentioned before the Bollywood movie Pardes. They keep mentioning in it how all of the bad habits the bad guy in the movie had picked up was because he was living in America. It generalized and stereotyped those of us who were raised here and really showed us in an inaccurate and horrible light. Pardes is 17 years old. So you can imagine my surprise that there are still people who share the same ideas now.

I’m hoping there will be a time where we are not judged by where we were raised. I’m hoping we can get to a point where we try to understand that a person’s background is just a part of them but we don’t define them by that background only. I’m hoping that eventually people will stop judging me based on the fact that my parents left India for better opportunities for themselves and their children.

Yes, I am American. Stop forgetting that I am also Indian. I will never stop being Indian. Understand that.

Financial Stability or Passion? Can I Have Both?

For most of us, our careers are based on what we might be good at and financial stability. We choose them when we are really young and just keep working away until we get to a point where it’s comfortable. We work, we work, we work, and all of a sudden, we’ve been doing this job for over 30 years. We achieved what we wanted. Financial stability. So my question is where do our passions fall into all of this?

I don’t know about you but mine are side projects.  I make time outside of my regular work to do things I enjoy like writing in this blog. I couldn’t do them full-time though. What if I can’t achieve financial stability? What if the whole thing is a struggle? There is a quote that says “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I’ve constantly been on the search for that my whole life. I don’t know if I’ll ever find it. 

I really admire those people who manage to turn their passion into a full-time business without letting it feel like a business. My other big fear with turning a passion into full-time work is that what if I start resenting it? What if the business aspect kills it for me? 

Passion. It’s part of what makes life worth living and helps you enjoy every day. It brings people together to achieve common goals. So how does a person take that step towards something that they are passionate about that won’t guarantee financial stability? The people that can do this are amazing. They don’t seem to have any fear. They make it work. And they have enough drive and ambition that leads them to success. 

Why is it so hard for some of us to take that step? We burn out so we can have both financial stability and passion instead of really finding something we want to do and figuring out how to achieve financial stability through that. We get to a point where we don’t want to do anything because we’ve worked so hard at everything. There has to be a balance. There has to be a way to achieve both at once. 

The question is how do we make it happen?