Today I came across an essay-turned-book: The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna. As the title suggests the book elaborates on the Should’s we all conform to, part influenced by the society and part owing to our cowardice, and the Must we ought to choose. I don’t claim to have read the book but will try to force my two-penny opinion onto you.
There is no dearth of advisers in our life. You are surrounded by them every moment of your active life, especially if you are in India. Hell, you even get advised on the direction you should face while shitting. Growing up in such a scenario we cant be blamed for choosing the Should’s most of our life. And to be fair to the conformists that’s a cozy and charming life. And most of all it makes people happy. It gives your near and dear ones a right to brag, of being-one-of-the-million corporate-sucking-arrogant-self-righteous-thumb-twiddling-douche-bag with moolah to buy the latest stuff. Who will leave such a life for a shit-load of must!
Many a conversations I had with friends who hate the Should’s they have been made to take, mind you most from some of the best schools in India, end up in wishful thinking and self-bashing. Its a should they were forced to choose now forcing their actions. Oblivious to it they still think in their self-righteousness I am the master of my decisions. You may ask whats wrong in it, till you are happy. For most it doesn’t matter. But for some, Life in retrospect is as worthy as life in the present. For those it matters you chose your musts in between the shoulds.
And to use the metaphor of a cross-road will be to give the Must more than its due than is given everyday. Its more of a gully – side lane most often shunned as its windy and narrow and slimy. Luna equates must to an inner calling which defines you and pursuit of which will keep you truly happy. As in all true quests its an uncertain, perilous, arduously long one laden with self-doubt, monsters and the like. And the beauty of it is not at the destination, but in the course of it. That makes the journey of Must so special.
Nobody will force you to take that path. Unless you have a guardian angel, they seem to be in short supply these days anyway. But if there is a voice strong enough in your head and a bursting self-confidence then take that gully for a distance. Even if you get lost, the people shouting Should’s are always around the next corner.