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  • Anant Gupta

Perspectives & relativity

What we should remind ourselves of every once in a while.


I did not think I'd be writing a post so soon but I figured I should write this after a convo with a friend recently. This is something that I want to revisit myself from time to time because it is easy to get lost. So let's begin with what happened. He had posted about how small India's GDP per capita is relative to US & Japan & whatever. He was depressed, basically going like yeah we are screwed. It's a joke. And the thing, it is totally understandable. We face a barrage of news designed to depress us everyday. Wars in middle east, Ukraine, culture wars across the world, etc. etc. The list is endless. At the same time, people are depressed about their jobs. Going to office, putting kids through school, healthcare, buying a house, car & it goes on & on. People are worried. I get it. I worry about those things as well.


But... the thing is, & this is what I want to clearly convey, you have to get over it. You cannot stay depressed on these things forever. The simple trick I do is ask myself, what can I do about it? For most things, the answer is nothing. I cannot solve a water crisis for a remote village. I cannot give good healthcare for those stuck in a war in north east. I can do good at my job, make smart investment decisions for the benefit of my family. I can stay healthy in the gym. For the rest, like India being poor, it is what it is. You have to keep perspective, the economic conditions have improved a lot since India's independence. Before that, the people suffered under centuries of colonialism. Billions worldwide still do due to those consequences. And it will continue to happen. Human greed & stupidity still does & will forever oppress those that it can. There is no utopia coming, we have the world we have. We can only try to make it better. To quote James Holden from "Leviathan Falls": “I absolutely believe that people are more good on balance than bad,” he said. “All the wars and all of the cruelty and all of the violence. I’m not looking away from any of that, and I still think there’s something beautiful about being what we are. History is soaked in blood. The future probably will be too. But for every atrocity, there’s a thousand small kindnesses that no one noticed. A hundred people who spent their lives loving and caring for each other. A few moments of real grace.”


One of the reasons I remind myself of is I am incredibly privileged. I have a good job, good time, decent-ish balance, family, friends. Billions of people would kill to have personal problems like I do. A random earthquake can kill thousands in a few hours. Someone is trying to protect their child from getting bombed. Someone does not have a roof over their head. I could write on & on. Zoom out of earth & all this does not matter. We are so insignificant to the scale of cosmos. It is kind of a whole lot of nothing. What we can do is appreciate what we have, tell ourselves it is what it is, do what we can & move on. No point fretting about how things are or how they should be. It is easy for forget this & you do have to remind yourself of this time & time again. Don't let greed or personal issues overwhelm you. Keep a clean conscience as that is more important that anything. Be self correcting as Prof Taleb says. If you run into deep trouble where you are struggling to make ends meet, stay in the game. Embrace the suck. We only have one life (that we will know, Idk about the whole rebirth thing) & we might as well enjoy it instead of being depressed about how it should be. Human civilization has achieved a lot despite all the atrocities & conflicts & struggles. I believe we still have a lot more to do.


Just try to be better yourself, make things better where you can. That is it. Stay in the game.

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