About: Random Ramblings is a corner where I share my thoughts on just about anything and everything. Of course it isn’t going to be “entirely meaningless rambling”. The ultimate goal of this corner is for readers to get a glimpse at my life experiences, my thoughts on a certain topic. And in that process hopefully they will be able to take away something valuable – be it inspiration, learning experience, or some form of insight.
Preface: Originally I was thinking about rambling on about another subject, but I realized that this particular topic has been way “overdue” for quite a while now. The pictures you see here have been sitting on my desktop since 15 Jan, so that’s the rationale behind me choosing this topic for this particular edition of RR – now with twice the number of Rs.
First of all, how is a rat race defined? In my own terms: “Going through the motion” is how I loosely define it. If one is studying for the sake of a piece of paper, they are part of the rat race. If one is working solely just for the sake of money and nothing else, they too are part of the rat race. A rat race is just like a vicious cycle, and ultimately there are no winners. Yes, there will be exceptions, but how many people in the pack can claim that they are able to break out of the mold, given their mindset? Chances are few and far between.
Secondly, while I have to say that while there isn’t anything strictly “wrong” with adopting this kind of approach in life, it isn’t exactly the “right” way either. If everyone were to suddenly decide to pursue their dreams, who would be left to do the dirty man’s job? It is all about achieving a balance. Hence I know that what I’m about to “preach” will only resonate with the select few out there – to most people it might seem like common sense or people who have already “been there, done that” – but I’m just going to do it anyway.
There are 3 kinds of people in the world of rat racing: (they are pretty self-explanatory so I won’t go into further detail)
- The ones who are so caught up it in that they don’t even question themselves anymore.
- The ones who aren’t so caught up it in, but are “forced” to do so because of circumstances beyond their control.
oneshipsters who take no part in it.
I have spoken to, and I personally know of people who belong in all 3 different groups. A friend once told me this years back when we were discussing about this topic and I still remember it till date: “Conform or be ostracized.” It is as simple as that, which is also the reason why majority of the world belong in the first two groups. If you are different, people will reject you, because why interact with someone different when you can interact with a like-minded individual? If you tell someone you want to chase your dreams, most will tell you that aspirations don’t keep you fed and clothed. Money does.
The problem becomes that it is hard to argue against it ($). In an increasingly materialistic world (thank you inflation), money is what everyone wants, what everyone needs. A car, a house/apartment, a significant other, entertainment, etc – They all require money, a substantial sum at that. As a result, people (especially the younger generation) feel the pressure to keep up with the times and their peers – which inevitably leads to the endless vicious cycle. Work -> Pay bills -> Work -> Pay bills for ad infinitum. Once it starts, once you’ve resigned yourself to such a fate, it doesn’t stop.
Again, I’m not saying everyone is like this, but majority of the world (especially on the eastern half) are inflicted with this mentality simply because they’ve become too practical with the allure of money and the convenience it brings, too comfortable with the prospect of a stable life while simultaneously too afraid to step out of the comfort zone. Is that inherently a “bad” thing though? It depends – on which side of the fence you are on.
“You have to discover who you are, in order to know what you really need, in order to get what you really want.” It doesn’t work the other way round, which is the mistake that many are making these days. The pictured quote above really says it all. For people who are claiming that they can always “do it later”. The possibilities are there, but as time passes and you’ve grown accustomed to your everyday life, it only gets harder and harder to challenge yourself. Remember that as we age, we not only have more responsibilities and commitments to fulfill, in terms of physical fitness it only goes downhill after the age of 30.
At this point, some might ask: “What is the point of this entire post?” While this is just me mostly airing my thoughts about the subject, the moral of the story is to “Do what you want to do“. Sure, while people are going to tell you that it is impossible to survive without money (which I agree with), it is the attitude of these people that is worrying. End of the day, you only live once (#yolo), don’t spend your life living someone elses life. Don’t become yet another Xiang Pi Ren (Plasticine men: Broadly defined, they are mostly white-collar workers who are somewhat numb to life, have no dreams, interests or ideals, and do not feel much pain – or joy). Take control over life, not let life take control over you.