"Why carry on?"
This is one of those questions that I've never been able to answer. Not satisfactorily anyway. Yes, we are the generation that lives in the future. We hop on from one trend to another, live on the edge, have experiences that our previous generation wouldn't have dared imagine in their time. Yes, we are a leap ahead on all counts. But sadly, we are the most depressed lot of youngsters that ever walked the earth.
No, I'm not talking about the suicides that keep increasing. I am talking about something a lot more commonplace. I'm talking about fatigue.
Not more than three hours ago, I was standing at a traffic signal doing the job of a traffic policeman who was (BTW) drunk and ignorantly missing from his post. Not to mention, I was doing his job for free since I was doing it as a concerned citizen connected to an NGO. The job wasn't much, I just had to throw my body in front of speeding cars so that they did not jump the red light. Then I had to urge them to keep their vehicles behind the zebra crossing. It is not so much of a tough job, in fact it is quite simple and straightforward. That is, until the people start abusing you and arguing with you about traffic rules.
It is quite a surprise really, how we risk our lives and the lives of others on a daily basis and then hurl expletives on someone who is taking out his time to work for the benefit of the society. And then there was this lady. We stopped her at the red light. She waited for 50 seconds, her vehicle turned off. Then, she suddenly jumped the signal with 10 seconds still remaining on the timer. I mean, seriously? This logic can only be found in Indians. And let's not even go to the awesome habits people have like interfering in other people's personal lives, gossiping about everybody, praising people in their presence and then criticizing them with their backs turned. In this world, there is no room for being a good person, because everybody has ulterior motives. That is why it so happens that the few good people give up on their best qualities. Because all they get in return is headache.
So when somebody asks me "why carry on", I'm left speechless. The truth is, there is no right answer to that. This world is unfair. The worst people lead comfortable lives and the best ones suffer for trying to bring a positive change to the order of things. But it is those people who are respected when all accounts are sorted out, when the dust settles. The best current example would be our nation's celebrated hero Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. If he hadn't gone through all those hardships in his life, would he receive the honor he does even after his 119th birthday? Not all people are lucky. Some of us have to struggle more in life to earn the respect we deserve. And many a times, all we see ahead of us is disappointment, frustration, depression. But we are defined by the best of our qualities only when we muster the courage to exhibit them in the worst times. Happiness or sadness is a state of mind, getting respected is a state of being. Your mood will change with the dates on the calendar, but your respect in someone's heart can only be changed by your actions. That is why great people carry on even when everything seems without any purpose. And again, good days and bad days are a random variable in life's equation, but greatness is a choice we can make whenever we like. That is why our strongest side appears when we are tired and disappointed to our extreme. That is why we have that saying "the night is darkest just before dawn".