Arvind Jayaprakash (anomalizer) wrote,
Arvind Jayaprakash

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Equalizers and differentiators

Last week, I was sitting on a bench by the street side in a certain lively part of our country observing a variety of people and wondering what has helped in making them all so different from one another and from myself. Unsurprisingly, the answers to those questions were nothing new; just things that people had told me long ago.

For the most part, I believe that if you want to qualitatively do something, then you can do it. For example, if you are afraid of water and want to do scuba diving, you can actually do it. But if you wish to beat Michael Phelps' record, then you may not be able to do it regardless of how much you try. It is important to be able to make this distinction between being able to do something and being able to do something in a certain fashion and under certain circumstances.

As usual, I have strayed away from the main idea so I shall try and get back to it. If you want to be able to play a guitar, then you can. If you want to be able to service a television, then you can. Of if you just want to wile away your time reading a blog that sounds like a self help book, you can also do that.

However, the thing that you need to realize is that it takes time to do anything (including but not limited to doing nothing or just indulging in procrastination). And time we have to do this is something is a thing that we all have in equal amounts. Everybody has the same amount of minutes or seconds or moments in a single day. Till date, there is no practical way by which we as individuals can break away from this constraint.

This is what makes us all equal and different and less importantly, an amusing paradox. While we all have the same amounts of time, we all choose to put it to use differently. And it is this choice that makes each one of us different. For better or for worse, every choice has an amplifying effect as time progresses. For example, someone who has spent great deal of time learning spoken languages might have to spend much lesser time learning yet another new language than someone who is trying to learn a second language. For all the time this person has spent in learning spoken languages, she has not spent that time doing a myriad other things that set her back in all those things she did not do, relative to the millions of people who were indeed doing those other things.

Coming to terms with this idea is both liberating and depressing. It helps in rationalizing why you can't be able to do everything, let alone being good at it. And it also reminds you why you won't be able to do everything, let alone be good at it.

I guess what is acquired by our choices can be deemed as wealth (not to be confused with money) and wealth is something that is used as tool to exchange what one person has attained through her choices with what someone else has attained through a different set of choices that he has made. And this is how we try to make up for our differences; by trading our wealth. Somewhere along the road, people chose quantify wealth to increase the interchangeability of various forms of wealth created this beautiful disaster that we call money. But that story is for another day.
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