Are we making the most of the advantages that we have?

Posted: October 29, 2009 in Uncategorized

I am not. And this post is a reminder to myself, to focus on this aspect.

Ok, so let me rewind and get you to the page first.

This thought comes up when we discuss life in India and that in the US, for example. Many of us, especially from Engineering programs in India, have a lot of friends who opted to stay back in the US, and who have been there now for many years. And there were others like us, who had those opportunities as well, but we chose to return or stay back in India. And this then, makes a comparison of life in the two places, a frequent topic of conversation.

My good friend, Vineet, must be credited for bringing out this specific thought. As an observation first, and then the challenge.

Typically, families (and I refer to our desi families there) in the US, have to personally tend to grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, tending to the gardens, driving their own cars, juggling around the kids schedules and managing those, and what not. And all that, while they are still putting in a hard day’s work. And often, we see them still finding time for their holidays, or for taking a trek, or go skiing, or pursuiing hobbies, or being a soccer coach to the kids at school and what not.

Cut. To India now.

Servants galore, a chauffeur to drive us around, huge support system of friends and family, and such advantages. And what do we do with those advantages. If anything, we should be having more time and more space to pursue other interests, or be better parents, or help others. And not necessarily by stretching out to 18 hour days. And yet, how rare is that. Most of us seem to lose time in the routine, in the mundane, or perhaps in yet some more work.

So that brings me to the topic of this post. Are we making the most of the advantages that we have??

Now, if we start giving reasons of the disadvantages that we have in our lives, we must honestly question ourselves, if we are just creating alibis? We can fool others (or try to) but we cannot fool our own selves!

If I have to answer the question, I will say that honestly, “No, I am not making the most of the advantages that I have in life!”. And that needs to change..

Forget the India-US advantage. There are many others.

The other day when the Central Railway in Mumbai was thrown out of gear, there were commuters who had to walk many hours to reach home. Many many commuters do it on a daily basis. And here I am today, with a 5-minute commute to work. A huge advantage of sorts. And am I making the most of this advantage by putting that time to best use? Guess not!

Yes, this needs to change.

Do you see the point? Do you believe you have advantages too? And are you making the most of those??

  1. Priyanka D says:

    Just wanted to mention that though we have servants for everything in India, it is quite a task to follow on them, see that they are doing the work well etc.. some people I know have found really good servants that have remained with the family for really long.. but many of us (including at my house) we simply cant find the right person.
    So new bai’s coming to house etc is a task in itself to manage them!

    • Sanjay Mehta says:

      Even considering the occasional challenges of stabilizing servants, we are sufficiently well endowed in terms of help. And we should look to take advantage of that scenario..

  2. Very True!! Everytime we fail, we find lame excuses. We blame situations, people and even inanimates for our mistakes. Somewhere inside our mind, there is a lazy lump which wants things to happen automatically. With all sorts of advantage, people like me try to draw a perfect picture and try to get more out of everything. Thanks to this Quetion? I will try to build on my advantages.

  3. Samudra says:

    In India, “hard work” is more valued than efficiency. So we dont mind the 18 hour weekdays. In fact, it is rewarded.

    Our priorities are very screwed up. While I have rarely ever seen some Israeli staying in office beyond 6pm, here, when people leave by 6, their dedication is questioned.

    We definitely dont take advantage of our advantages. Its more a cultural problem, than an individual one. Only when we see other work-cultures, like when you go to the US, or Israel, or any other country, then you realize different the difference.

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