Last month, I was asked to come up with a short bio of mine for a workshop. The idea was for everyone to write their short descriptions so that all the participants were aware of each other’s backgrounds (education, experiences, and expectations) for a better sharing/learning experience. Now usually, given such an opportunity, most of us (including me) want to write in a manner that presents the best version of ourselves; that depicts how interesting and worthy we are of the other participants’ time and attention. But somehow this time around, I felt differently.
In recent Facebook posts, I’ve seen young guns taking pride in presenting themselves as leaders in organizations with fancy titles. They may not be trying to flaunt and just sharing a title for what it is, but I was once in that stage in life where job titles mattered to me. It was important for me to project myself of having a visiting card with a cool title; something that made it palpable that I was a force to be reckoned with. But now, in a span of a good couple of years, my perspective has changed.
On this very occasion, I didn’t want to present myself as a person who thinks he has it all figured out and is living ‘the life’. My achievements are stacked up, I’ve done quite a few numbers of ‘cool’ things for my age but the truth remains that everyday, I wake up confused and lost, questioning everything around me. Rather than trying to hide this fact or run away from it, I’ve come to embrace my flaws for it makes me humane. Rather than being referred to as a writer, educator, and podcaster, I’d love to be known more deeply for the person that I’m-inquisitive, deeply introspective, confused, flawed, yet ever striving to become a better human who is passionate about simply being.
Maybe this is why most of my introductions these days start with “Hi, I’m Sagar Satyal and I’m a human being who is lost, confused, yet passionate about life just like everyone of you.”
This shift in perspective maybe the reason why people’s past achievements, the cars they ride (or instead of a car, if they have an old scooter like me) and the corporate positions they hold doesn’t matter to me anymore. I’ve seen people riding fancy cars but have racked up huge amounts of debt from innocent people just to get there. I’ve seen people try to show they have it all figured out but the moment they are drunk and out of their senses, you can just tell how shattered they really are on the inside. For these reasons, I want to come out of the superfluity of possessions and titles and want to be able to see people for who they are and not what they possess.
“To think well of oneself: A privilege reserved for those who have not begun to understand themselves.”
The School of Life
I therefore wish for myself to see the next person I meet as someone who is troubled, naïve, and confused just like me, and hopefully for the feeling to be reciprocated so that we can connect on the foundations of kindness and compassion rather than where we stand in the corporate ladder.