The Other End of the Line
Since time unknown, when the first idea of civilization came up, humans have been working towards getting better and better in every field. We are continually thinking of a better version of almost everything that exists. Humanity has come a long way from discovering fire to creating complex machines and technology that are a part of our lives today. This advancement isn’t limited to just one aspect; it is universal. Every aspect of our society is altered in one way or the other. The desire to be and have more, from both an economic and social perspective, is what drives it.
The line can be thought of as a timeline where various events that brought about change are marked. However, where does this line end? Where does it lead to? Is this advancement limitless? Could we reach a point in the future where our progress as a society finally plateaus, and the humility of satisfaction finally extinguishes these ambitious desires?
A prevalent idea of a happy life is to live in the present. But our present actions are driven by what we desire in the future. So, planning out and exploring future possibilities is essential. But as necessary, we should not forget to revisit past decisions as our past mistakes teach us the best lessons.
As we chase the glamorous possibilities of the future, we are inclined to ignore the oft-gloomy present. Yet, chasing the possibility of a bright future can only bring any change in our present. We must strike a balance between looking into the future while firmly rooting our feet in the present. But how is this balance to be struck?
However, thinking of this line differently- imagine a line joining Kashmir to Kanyakumari, slowly move down this line and take your time to observe the changes. This line could also represent the changes in culture, geography, and language. The differences may seem minuscule as we cover small distances; they add up to reflect the vast diversity that exists in India and its people.
People on two ends of a line may have very different ideas on approaching the same situation. Yet, their thoughts may seem utterly absurd to one another at times, even though they are equally fascinating.
The creativity of the human mind can only generate these infinite possibilities. The chains holding back our imagination finally broken as we gaze upon the multitude of possible futures and work towards one. The most remarkable creations of our day have been sparked by a single thought process, born in a brilliant mind, bred and fed by their incomparable grit and desire, as they finally realise it.
Humanity has an inner critic who tells it to slow down, not take the risk, and opt for the safe route forward. Is it worth listening to this part of the psyche as we embark on a future full of possibilities and take great leaps, often not knowing whether there is substantial ground ahead of us? Should we opt for the humility of self-satisfaction or risk it all in an attempt to chart the uncharted, discover the unknown, and usher in a newer, more energetic, and happier life? The boundaries between the known and the unknown are not well defined. Do we ever know what hides behind the curtain that separates the world of the known and the unknown?
This inner critic asks us various questions of great importance before we jump across the barrier. What is common now might not have been imagined 100 years back. The advancements have been possible because we have always been willing to take risks and explore further. For us, the path to realising the idea and the associated costs are equally crucial as the idea itself, for you cannot walk across thin air, even if there is a treasure on the other side. As we leap across these barriers, another question arises- Do we have a backup when something inevitably goes wrong?
We’ve already traveled so far on the ‘line’ and explored what the line could mean. Is there an end to this line? Are we nearing the end? Are we capable, or do we have enough resources to keep going? What lies ahead of this line? Is it worth going out of our comfort zone and exploring what lies at “the other end of the line”?
To find answers to all these questions and MANY more, join us at TEDxIITGuwahati on 7th March 2021.