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Success OR The Middle-Class Muddle-Class

I am going to branch out and digress a lot. So bear with me non-existent readers.

Why do we live? What is success? Is it having loads of money? Is it having loads of beautiful women love you? Is it fame? Or maybe making love to loads of beautiful women ON a bed of cash AND getting watched by the entire world? I don't think many will agree to any of the above as a definition of 'success' (although the last one comes pretty close!).

I have a theory. SUCCESS IS FINDING YOUR PLACE IN LIFE. Easy as it was to say that, it raises a whole host of questions by itself. What is your place in life? Now, I'm a layman. So I'll discuss this in layman's terms, for other laypeople (have to be gender-unbiased these days).

Life is defined by three core, dominant qualities: aptitude, attitude and environment. The first cannot be changed, the second is prone to regular change and the third is somewhere in between those two. Let's break them up. Aptitude is what defines a person. It is the direction and magnitude in which a person functions. Most people possess an average in all directions with a varying degrees of magnitude. Very few possess extremely high degrees of magnitude, fewer still in all directions or none at all. This is a standard bell curve statistical distribution. Thus far, it's simple mathematics. Thus, NEGLECTING the 2nd and 3rd qualities, a persons 'fit' is determined in pursuing their directions of aptitude. Let me give an example: a man may be a bad singer, a mediocre painter, a superb writer and might be working in a 'standard' job (in India at least) as an engineer in one of many Companies in the market. He might be average at his job, not too bad but not too good either. Hence, even if he makes a lot of money, marries happily etc. will he truly be called a success?

Attitude. Tough for me. I'm not a psychologist. It's also heavily influenced by environment and, to an extent, by aptitude. It is the mode of application of aptitude. One might possess superlative ability, but if one never applies or polishes it, it's as good as useless. It is also not rare for a person to possess aptitude for something, but lack the attitude to pursue it. This this person will never 'fit' and hence never be successful.

Environment. This is the factor that largely determines attitude and application. Which brings me to the other main part of this discussion. IT WILL BE RARE TO SEE  SUPERLATIVE TALENT EMERGE FROM THE MIDDLE CLASS. 

Ok, I've done it. I've kicked the hornets nest. " what're you writing dude?...", " can you make such stupid generalizations you ignorant f***"... etc are some of the thoughts that most people (if any such exist at all!) will be thinking. And numerous examples will be cited etc. But looking at statistics, given the huge portion of people in the middle class today, comparative representations don't match up. And I believe it's due to a reason.

When aptitude, whether moderate on through superlative emerges, it requires attitude to survive, Persistence, determination, etc. It is possible only in the upper and lower classes. Let me give an example: a poor farmers son discovers he is extremely good at a sport, say cricket. Since he is so poor that life is going to be struggle anyway, he can afford to take the risk and pursue it because let's face it: what has he got to lose anyway? It's a struggle for him either way. Also, a successful industrialists son stands an equal chance to hone and nurture his talent because he has the resources to fall back upon in case of a failure.

Why does the Indian middle class recognize only two or three legitimate professions? The answer is that the previous generation; i.e our parents; reached where they are after a huge STRUGGLE. They raised themselves through toil and determination to a platform where they can ensure, at least to a certain extent, that their children will not have to face that situation in the future. They also sustain hopes of their children climbing one tier further, into the upper class wherein any scope or memory of struggle will be removed utterly for future generations.

Admirable. Commendable. But stifling. In some cases at least. I was lucky enough to have supportive parents, but I know many who do not. Many parents who don't recognize professions other than medicine or engineering. Even law is touted as being too full of 'initial struggle'. As a result, vast vaults of APTITUDE go underutilized due to a lack of ATTITUDE and a result of ENVIRONMENT.

Thus, my middle class brethren, we will work. We will get those MBAs and maybe even those lucrative foreign degrees, huge pay packets, second homes, third cars, foreign educated children etc. But will we ever,ever be truly successful?


  1. You are generalising the doom of the middle class. And you correct at it. But the note of despair is unwarranted. Things are changing, at least in major cities. You are not going to end up as a soap salesman and neither am I (read the unmentioned).
    Anyway, my ulterior motive to comment was to invite you to my blog.

  2. i think the middle class is getting quite innovative, esp our generation. the range of careers people pursue is quite interesting. i believe our parents have formed a strong base in the society, financially and therefore given us the freedom to follow 'different pursuits'. happened with me. and am sure if you wanted to pursue literature and become a writer, the opposition wouldn't be much..


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