Ajay Singla | IIM-Raipur | via Write for RedPaper.in
I lay on my bed thinking about my marks. They didn’t cause me sleepless nights but they definitely didn’t label me an outlier either. I wondered if they would be enough to get me a high “price tag” in the future. That’s right “price tag”, like I was some animal being led up for auction. Isn’t that what colleges and B-schools aim for nowadays? Isn’t that how society judges us? By the number of zeroes behind our paychecks!
I had attached the idea of a price tag only to the things I bought from stores till one day it hit me that humans are not much different from the products they buy. We are born, and we are like a lump of raw materials ready to be transformed into absolutely anything. Then we get older and go to schools and colleges which, like factory machines, transform us into shiny products ready to be consumed by the customers. Who are our customers? Who would want a sharp, energetic human fresh from the college? Corporates of course! And they pay a hefty “price” for us, a monthly salary which ends up deciding our worth to the society.
It is not all that simple though. Unlike raw materials all humans are not equal in ability and those that are might not have been born equal. Is it fair then, that one child born into a poor family who is as able as another born into a rich family ends up having a much degraded career than him? They might start out the same, but the rich kid will go to better schools, his teachers would pay attention to his education, his parents would spend lavishly on his tuitions and extracurricular activities. On the other hand, the poor kid ends up going to an overcrowded school managed by disinterested and underpaid teachers and he can only dream of his parents paying for fulfilling his hobbies and interests. He would be called lucky if he manages to get even a decent and respectable job.
My agitation is twofold. I don’t like the way the system works and neither do I like the system. The flaw within the system is that even in a society as advanced as ours, people are handicapped by their birth. If everyone has the right opportunities like good schools, skilled teachers and means to enrich their personalities, then everyone can be a winner, everyone can live a prosperous life and everyone can be a high quality product with a rich “price tag”. And there my second problem begins. I don’t want to do anything in life with the goal of “price tag up-gradation”. I want to break free from the rat race, breathe freely, travel the world, try new things and work hard at a job I like, for myself, my own satisfaction and not for the foolish aim of increasing my “price tag”! That’s my dream and I will definitely achieve it.