Thursday, 18 April 2013

The Graduated Anarchist

Source: Google Images

Today, whilst perusing the endless black hole of entertainment which is YouTube, I found myself clicking on suggested videos which I wasn’t even really interested in- We’ve all been there.

After zoning out for a bit, I realised I was staring at a screen and there was a girl talking about something or the other but I really wasn’t following and it was enough to capture my attention. On to the next one- Up popped a video with the title ‘Driving License Suspended’. “Looks like a rant or vlog video,” I thought to myself. Having recently paid a ticket myself, I thought this was something I could muster up some interest in. Listening to the video I was intently waiting for my cue to participate in the slandering of the system…. Still waiting… waiting. Wait what did he just say: it was his fault? I actually had to pause the video. For a second I was like “oh right its shock value, typical entertainer bullshit, but whatever, I’ll keep watching.” Anyways, he went on to talk about how he had received three tickets in the space of one month and simply due to the fact that he was lazy and didn’t pay them in time, his license had been suspended. Then came the shocker. He blamed himself for not having learnt the basic lessons of being able to function as part of this society which are generally taught inherently, throughout primary school, high school and university.  

Suddenly, this YouTube star and I had a lot more in common than I thought. The unorganised piles of letters and junk which I kept describing as “organised chaos” to my parents, became flagrant reminders that I’m an active part of this society whether I like it or not. Just because I don’t have someone setting a schedule for me anymore doesn’t mean the world stops.

Source:Google Images 

They train us from childhood to be good students, to have good grades, to get good jobs with a good income, whilst remaining good citizens as part of the system. Personally, this has always been something I have loathed from a safe distance because I genuinely thought the path was set in stone for me. It wasn’t until recently, after graduating more specifically, that I really began to think about the machine which moulds us into adults and spits us out the other end to go fit ourselves into another machine until we get a few years to enjoy life. I’m not slating anyone who has dreams of working with a big corporate because that’s just as admirable as any dream at the end of the day, it’s just that too many of us end up with a lack of direction and simply melt into a job or institution we have no real interest nor enthusiasm for. It was this realisation which, with all good intentions aside, completely warped my perception of what the last 21 years of my life have been about. I honestly thought that I had wasted 21 years on pointless nonsense. With that thought in mind I tried to forget everything I had learnt up until that point and unlearn all those machine taught tendencies. Nevertheless, this video gave me the perfect amount of paradigm altering perspective. I realised that although my outlook on life had changed for the better, I could not ignore the use of basic universal concepts such as time keeping and organisation I needed to break free of the mould. I had to address those bank statements, those letters on the desk from Student Finance about repayment of loans.

To really achieve anything, whether it is pursuing a job, cleaning your house, or starting your own business, you have to use what you have been taught to your advantage. I mean what really successful person starts their day at 1 pm on YouTube? Some of us may feel like we own the world and have it figured out, others may just be as lost as I am, but the key is to keep applying what you’ve learnt and never discard knowledge. Even if you hate traditional schooling and the system or society we live in, there are some universal concepts you need in order to forge your own path in this world. Even an anarchist would use a fork and knife to eat his full English on the morning of the revolution. 

Ask yourself, what skills do I have that can improve my situation today, whether that be keeping better time or organising yourself. It’s often the smallest steps which reap the greatest rewards. 

By Viren Samani (@VirenSamani1)  

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