“Duniya aise hi chalti hai” (This is how the world functions).
These words are etched in my mind. They ring in my ears whenever I face dilemmas at work, with people especially, who I feel are probably not doing things the right way, especially ethically or morally (of course these accusations are based on my perception of things).
It was a practical and fair piece of advice given to me by someone I looked up to (in my previous workplace).
As usual, I was all furious and complaining about my client. I wanted to raise my voice and set things straight, and no I wasn’t diplomatic about it. I was keen to address the elephant in the room but I knew I couldn't risk losing our face. Life seems very unfair when you are in situations like these, and lack of diplomacy makes it worse.
Deviation: I hate being diplomatic when I am designing. More on this later sometime.
The only way out was to reach out to someone in the sphere of influence who could voice my pains instead of me, better than I would. It was during this SOS call when these words were imparted to me to pacify my angst.
And my heart went cold.
It wasn’t the first time I had heard this sentence. It’s a classic pacifier. But this time when I heard it, it suddenly became a huge decision point for me. I realized that either I could comply and win for my company or step out and chase my ideal world. This would define my success criteria as a professional. My turmoil ended when I settled on the fact that I couldn't part with my ideal. In my ideal world, people have the courage to stand up to what is wrong and fight hard to get it corrected. In my ideal world, people change people, people believe that they have the power to change the world they live in.
When a whole lot of people mutually comply with “Duniya aisi hi chalti hai”, they are simultaneously creating this kind of world while they are saying it. (It's like how players create their gaming environments while they are playing Fortnight!).
Emphasis: the moment you accept it is the moment you created it and hence you are now living in it.
With that kind of superpower, I knew what I needed to do to live in the kind of world I wanted to.
Simultaneous thought: There are many parallel worlds, to each her own.
That day, I took a very important decision in my life, to march ahead and seek a world I resonate with, a world closer to my ideal, a world that’s more hopeful and courageous.
So, friends, this was indeed a piece of world-changing advice for me.
What world are you chasing?