Thursday, April 08, 2010
Life is not fair. Thank God!
It was my first day at the new office. And a lot of work was waiting for me along with a bouquet and pleasant smiles. I was hungry so went to the office canteen. The canteen caretaker was sitting in a corner with his eyes glued on an English newspaper.
I have seen quite many canteen caretakers since my school days but never saw one reading an English newspaper. I was impressed and curious. When I started talking to him I came to know that he is not very educated but loves reading, so he learnt to read English on his own. He also loves reading books on various topics and has opinion on various issues.
It made me think about him and about myself. What is the difference between me and him? He is not less intelligent than me. Who knows he might be much better than me. He is curious, hardworking and has a strong desire to learn. But he keeps standing in pantry, cooking meals for the office. And I sit in my air-conditioned office, sipping free coffee, surfing on net and writing headlines for advertising which pays me much better.
What exactly did he lack that he couldn’t enjoy the lifestyle I enjoy? The answer is obvious. He was not born in a family which could afford good school and education for him. Despite being talented he didn’t have enough qualifications to have a chance in the white collar job market.
But I had everything which made me ‘good enough’ to get a nice job and be able to maintain a fine lifestyle. I was born in the right family, went to the right schools, got the right qualifications and became the right guy for my employers.
This small realization made me feel bad about him. But on a deeper level, I am afraid to say, I felt good. What if the canteen caretaker had the same opportunities I had? He would have been a strong competitor. What if everybody born on this earth had equal opportunities? The well-educated and talented people like me and many others who work is plush offices might have been forced to give way to the better ones from slums and backward castes.
I have always complained about life being unfair to me when things go wrong. But this time I am not complaining. Life is unfair, but it’s unfair to my advantage. And it doesn’t suck.