Necessity, Not Luxury

This video is dedicated to my students everywhere. I realize I may have failed to mention that I have been a teacher since forever. And I’ve had my students come up to me with the complaint that I never mention this association. So, here I am, doing just that. This one’s for you all.

There is this misconception that the younger generation these days has it easy. The issues that used to exist a decade or two or three decades ago are practically non-existent now because of the medical breakthroughs or the technological evolution. It’s true, we have come really really far as a civilization, but our attitude still hasn’t changed.

We ask youngsters to toughen up, while subjecting them to immense pressure – the pressure to perform well, to settle soon, to meet certain expectations, to follow a specific path, to make pre-approved decisions. Don’t get me wrong, raising a kid is not exactly a walk in the park. But anyone responsible for any youngster needs to understand that they have a right to feel as much as you do, maybe even more. We all crave connection, right? We all need a listening ear. So, if the next time your kid, your younger sibling, your student, or anyone comes up to you with a problem that may seem meaningless to you, but is the entire world to them – sit them down, listen, sort it out. The right push in the right direction can do wonders. Who knows, you might even, you know, change a life, ideally, hopefully. But no, I’m serious. Maybe try that, instead of invalidating their feelings and making them feel that they cannot ever approach you again. I’m not being dramatic, that actually does happen.

See, the sad part is this is not just a generational thing. We face this problem of being invalidated every single day – with our colleagues, our co workers, our siblings, our friends. We compare our problems! You realize that you have a unique set of abilities, right? Unique skill set, unique background, unique experiences, unique, I don’t know, unique real history of relationships. The point is everything about you is unique. So are your problems and your ability to deal with them. Then what exactly is the point of comparison?

You compare your problems on an individual basis and there are people out there comparing bigger problems on a much collective level, you know, much higher level. For example, have you ever seen any mental health initiative presented or marketed publicly? People focus on what they think is important. I keep hearing this every week, every day, I keep hearing this. People ask me this: that the world, like we’ve said, is a tough place and people are suffering, they’re deprived of the necessities of life, they have so many problems… Who has the time or the energy to focus on mental health?

Mental health is a necessity, not a luxury. It’s a right, not an accessory. I don’t know how or where along the way this got lost, but a healthy individual is one who is fit both mentally and physically. And based on that definition, we are all most definitely a hundred percent fucked up.

See, the whole world is a stage, right? And we’re all players, that’s what Shakespeare said? We all have a role to perform. Think about your own body – every single organ, every bone, has a specific function to perform. Similarly, in a society, every single individual has a duty to perform – something special that only they can offer to the society as a whole. Anyone working on any social initiative has the exact same importance as someone working on an intellectual or technological one. Anyone working on mental health holds the exact same importance as someone working on, say, cancer research or AI. We’re all here to perform a part. And bringing the other person down, hindering them from performing their duty, is just gonna hurt us as a society on the whole. And, if you haven’t noticed, that’s practically what’s been happening all around us.

I’ve said it before. I’m gonna say it again. And I’m probably gonna keep on saying it until, you know, maybe someone listens or makes a difference somehow… Have a little empathy. That is all it takes, literally all it takes.

On that note, I will see you all next week. Have a good week.

Looking for more information?

Enter your email address below to have the resume sent out to you.

Can’t get enough?

Follow on social media to get more personal updates.


Blog: Necessity, Not Luxury