Against the Odds: Abraham Lincoln

 

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other

                                   Abraham Lincoln

With President’s Day just around the corner, I couldn’t think of a better image for this week’s photo challenge.

This great man is a clear embodiment of the phrase ‘Against the Odds’. His life story depicts the strength and perseverance one needs at the time of despair. He showed the world that encountering failure after failure is never the end. From being the most celebrated president of the United States to being the source of inspiration for centuries, he had accomplished the unattainable against all odds.

This tribute to the 16th president of the United States was captured at the National Mall of Washington D.C.

 

Weekly Photo ChallengeAgainst the Odds

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Serenity in Solitude

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Personally, I love solitude. Solitude to me does not signify loneliness or emptiness. It is a state of mind devoid of clutter that helps rediscover yourself. Living amidst the hustle bustle of city life only makes us seek moments of solitude more often. It doesn’t require taking a vacation far off. Solitude can be achieved anywhere, as long as you cut off the virtual connections on your phone for a moment!

This picture is my personal favorite from my visit to South Dakota. It was captured at Castle Trail in Badlands National Park. It depicts the pleasure of enjoying solitude.

 

Weekly Photo ChallengeSolitude

Overwhelming Chaos

There comes a phase in everybody’s life where you find the outside world more concerned about you, than you are for yourself. While your mind may already be filled with the ifs and buts of life, the unwanted advises and suggestions from every so- called ‘well wisher’ and acquaintance, only adds to the clutter inside your head. The result? No prizes for guessing, an overwhelming chaos in your mind!

Once you get beyond the 25′ age limit of settlement, concerns from nowhere start pouring onto you. Specially in India, where there is a preset deadline for every life event to occur, the moment you miss your pre- designated ‘age’, you become the center of interest!

According to the Indian norms of having a successful life, there are three main areas to be accomplished to be labelled as settled:

  • Education – Get a valid degree! Preferably in Engineering or Medicine. Any other field is an area of concern for ‘settlement’.
  • Employment – Get a job! Of course you need one for your bread and butter.
  • Marriage – Get married at the ‘right’ age. Otherwise there is something wrong!

Now let’s look at some of the key points to be checked off your life checklist to be considered ‘well settled’. Mind you, there is much more to accomplish here:

  • Exceptional Income– Having a job doesn’t guarantee great income. Make sure you end up in a job with a fat paycheck!
  • Property– Having a good house and a car. Well, having the same in a foreign country can mean exceptionally well settled.
  • Children– Nobody is ever well settled without having children. ‘Married with kids’ is the most common notion to be considered well settled.

Now that you’re familiar with the basic norms of leading a happy and successful life according to an average Indian, you are expected to ‘plan’ your life accordingly. If one of the above criteria for settlement is left incomplete, trust me, you’re screwed!

First and foremost, you unintentionally start becoming the biggest worry of your parents. Not because they can’t wait for you to succeed/settle, but because they can’t answer every Tom, Dick and Harry who raises concerns about you. A clear example of societal pressure.

Second, you start feeling ashamed of yourself for being questionable. As people who were nowhere to be seen till this point, suddenly start inquiring about your attitude towards life.

Look at your friends! They are racing ahead with their careers. What are you up to?”, questions one of your dad’s friends, who claims himself as your well wisher.

Once you’re sure of what you want to do and work towards it, you start feeling a sense of relief for being on the right path. Then comes your aunt! A distant aunt, who hasn’t seen you for over a decade, nor has inquired about your well being all these years. She is suddenly very much interested in your wedding. She advises your parents from her ‘experience’ that missing the age-limit might diminish your chances of finding the bride/groom you deserve!

It’s high time you get married!”, she suggests. She is clearly unaware of what you’re going through, nor is bothered about your intentions.

When the right time comes, you get married. You are happy to have found your partner for life and start basking in the glory of being newly wed. It doesn’t take long for your neighbors who come over for a cup of coffee, to start rubbing in their recommendations!

Now start planning for kids, before your biological clock starts ticking!”, they warn.

The chaos gets worse if you fall into the female species, as there are stricter deadlines and age limits for everything. Before you realize, your life is being planned and judged by a third person, who will never appear at the time of need in the future.

Life events aren’t always meant to happen as planned. There are many unexpected events and turns life offers you, that can never be planned. Easy said than done. Neither the well wisher uncle nor the distant aunt realize your effort being put into getting your dreams accomplished. They are neither a part of your journey, nor will they ever be!

Life happens at it’s own pace and it differs for each one of us. The right things happen to you at ‘your’ right time. May be following the herd just for the sake of getting a job at the right time isn’t your motive. You may be dreaming and working for something greater and better! Getting married just because all your friends around are getting married or because your aunt is suggesting, might turn out to be the biggest mistake of your life! Not having children when the society expects, will not fail you to become a mother!

You will be offered with everything that is right for you when the moment is right, when you have the need to accomplish, when you have the strength to sustain and when you have the capacity to maintain.

Until then, enjoy this time of being the subject of gossip for jobless uncles and aunties around you. 😉

 

Daily PromptOverwhelming