If I was accepted

I recently was watching Geo Hotz talk about content on the internet and he talked about all the “masturbatory garbage” that one could find all around the internet. That made me curious. How much of the stuff I wrote on my blog could fall into that category. So, I went to look at my past few posts and found that not much of it was click-baity / come follow me / now you can subscribe to my newsletter. That is a good thing. Perhaps, my content isn’t good enough or perhaps the fact that I’m afraid of the retribution I would face for my content. At any rate, I’ll start to link more of my thoughts to the content I write. It will still be error prone, it just will be more publicized. No, I’m still not making it my source of livelihood. Not yet. I don’t think the value i’m providing is condensed and structured very well.

I’m now completely engaged in my work for the next few weeks. I prepared quite well for an interview that I was slated to appear for but I didn’t make it through the third round. For a brief time it did re-inforce the lack of self belief and the belief that I lack creativity but a few gym sessions, some self-talk and I was back at it again. If i was accepted I would feel great about the position but I wasn’t. Now I feel like probably they didn’t deserve me. The truth is however somewhere in the middle. They probably needed someone more skilled that me and I can probably be better off at a company where I’m more intellectually challenged than I would have been at that role. In all fairness it was more about the necessity to be near mother than the need for a better role. Even if I’m not stretched in my current position, I can still use the resources and the opportunities all around me to make good of my time here and with the opportunities that come my way by virtue of my being present here in the United States, which despite its challenges provides some opportunities.

A completed interview, an open opportunity, and expectations from the future. Image courtesy: Daniel McCullough

In general if I was to look back at my recent past I would say the universe has been very kind to me. I was not always the person who would always stretch himself all the time. The universe in its infinite chaos has shown me some direction. In all fairness it was probably just me trying to make order out of chaos because that’s what we like to do as human beings. That is usually the most productive output of our flow states. Some semblance of meaning, order, an antithesis to chaos. In the interview I talked about above, I could probably have prepared better, but the distraction of the chaos was too much. I wasn’t able to take control of my senses and focus on the tasks at hand. It was a hard fought battle and at the end I could say that I lost the battle but I won’t say that I lost the war. I learned some hard lessons and I’ll try again. It would be a waste if I didn’t learn anything from my failure. But learn I did. There’s a battle when I’m infront of the PC and in a conversation all the time. All. The. Time. So, no, the battle might be lost but the war is not over.

If I would have been accepted there were some costs attached to it. There always are and it’s just a matter of doing the due diligence to understand the alternatives and the costs associated. Now I need to make sure that I take my gratitude for everything I have been provided with and work hard to provide value. There are people who are not as fortunate as I am and there are those among them who might need assistance to understand and navigate the various choice in life. I will endeavor to provide direction. Whether it’s creating content or just making sure I revert to people who reach out to me about suggestions for courses in undergraduate or graduate courses. Currently I’m engaged in a niche area of economics that focuses on pricing and commercialization. I’m sure there are people and groups out there who need my assistance or avenues where I can add value.

Privilege within the system and progress

The System

I agree the system been broken for certain segments of people to achieve certain outcomes. The corruption in south east Asia, the oppression against women, the caste system, the corruption of local authorities. These are all indicators of a broken system. I guess my thoughts differ from many people on how to fix something that’s broken and I think we should think through the solutions or a certain path that will bring us solutions. There are lot of things that are working, even for people of color in the US. Compare that to how the Modi government is sowing seeds of unrest against Muslims in India. She’s a young country and people (even in my family) are developing an outlook towards a segment of the population because they’re affected subliminally by what’s being done by the government. The messaging, the posturing, etc. in the US as well, I agree it’s not even close to “good” but it works, even for minorities, one can’t overlook the good that’s been done tirelessly over the ages.

There are many places around the world where things are worse not even by a little margin, much worse. I guess a comparison with other systems would be fair, wouldn’t it? If we were to fix everything from scratch, then where should we start in the US? Should all white people go back to Europe, leave this land to the natives, why stop at African Americans and Hispanics? And who defines how much the majority needs to undo? I guess we’ll need to talk and find out. I think the pain that non-white folks endure is not understood by the majority. Sometimes it almost seems the helplessness to understand those different cultures is making them support anything and everything? An ally who wants to support but doesn’t know what and how to support. (Reminds me of missionaries who went to other countries to show them the light. This is a sensitive subject and I know I should tread lightly and read more here particularly) Coming back to the US, there is a systemic issue, because the systems were defined without heed to people of color, perhaps even bending the system to their disadvantage. I agree and I see the pain it’s causing. But and this is a big but the system has evolved, people have worked within the system to make changes for the better. So, is it broken? Yes, does it need fixing? Yes! Does it need to be razed to the ground? No! And no, I also don’t think that if small changes are made, they’re only band-aid fixes. I think the Cruzes, the Cottons, the Grahams and those people (who I personally consider hideous) need to be sat down with. Their ideas are ridiculous and they need to be exposed on a public forum intelligently. There are people who have compassion and are intelligent to have a dialogue. Not all of the smartest people are cold blooded and on Wall Street. I don’t even need to say this to you. These politicians shouldn’t be allowed to hide their ideas behind a veil of facetious agendas and policies. Otherwise more people will learn to thrive in the “new system” they’ll only just not talk about their ideas and stay silent. There will be new impostors who will learn to get there work done even in a new system.

Recognition of the privilege

I then had a great conversation about how it is important to recognize that I am privileged. It stays in my memory and makes me thing not because I wasn’t aware about it but because I needed to hear it. I think sometimes even if we know things, we don’t actively think about them. They might be somewhere in our subconscious, just like our breath. When we breathe involuntarily, we usually use a certain amount of lung capacity that is not close to maximum. Yet, when one meditates, or consciously focuses on deep breaths it causes the body to feel rejuvenated compared to before because you’re now breathing 30%-50% more oxygen. I think it’s the same way with realizations as well. There are things you know and you’re aware about but you’re not actively making decisions with those realizations. So, it’s good to be made to think about these things externally.

That recognition leads to many things, out of which one is action for people who don’t have that privilege. The conversation brought out things like where I lie in the social structure of a country like India. I’m probably in somewhere in the 95th percentile by financial wealth, access to information and awareness among other things. Yet, there are problems that I face in society which keep me awake at night when I think about facing those challenges in an Indian society. Traveling by mass transit, dealing with government officials, opportunity to pursue new work, among other things. What must be the condition of those people who are in the strata of society that I have no idea about? I haven’t forgotten the face of the poorest man. I continue to build myself up so that one day when I can turn around, I can talk about these things on my platforms. I think very soon I will be at a position where I will have influence. I’m glad I harbor these opinions because these are morals that are required and much lacking in people who have influence today. Authority corrupts, even if not in sense we understand corruption in a social sense. It moulds the way of thinking that is advantageous to the thinker and detrimental to people disconnected from the thinker. Putting this in record is a good idea because then I can be reminded of this later. Memories that I currently have already haunt me and push me to do better. I hope my realization of privilege will propel me to be more mindful when I have more authority.