I am the face of social crisis

I am currently unemployed. I finished my Teach for India Fellowship in April and I had grand plans to study further in the space of Education. I have admission from an Ivy league college but no money to pay for tuition. I am unemployed partially by design because I do not want to go back to the corporate sector and work hard at selling tea or biscuits. I do not think I will be able to take that job seriously and so I might not even care.

But being unemployed is hard. Especially if your idea of self worth is intrinsically woven with  the work you do. You begin to question your worth, your life choices and most importantly if any good is ever going to come out of all this. You slip into a zone where you are constantly checking email to see if someone rather anyone is out there who is willing to help you do what you want to do. And spend your day swinging between wild rage and frustration.

I have read about economic downturn leading to unemployment and that leading to a breakdown in social structures. I totally agree! The way I feel right now – angry and frustrated could possibly lead to a lot of damage. Now when I think of the same feeling multiplied across so many young people crossing economic strata, it is truly terrifying.

It is a good thing I do not see myself vandalising public property or being a menace. I am able to vent through words, but if I could not even do that I am sure I would have exploded and sure as hell done something!

I can relate to the feeling of powerlessness and insignificance. I can understand why someone might be a part of a mob just to feel like they belong to something larger than themselves. I can totally see why people join cults.

It is no longer a strange phenomenon – I am the face that I earlier did not recognize.

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4 thoughts on “I am the face of social crisis

  1. radha kannan says:

    it is so strange that.. we merge our identity and worth with jobs/ career.. how is ones’ worth estimated? by their job? by the pay packet? by what? so, if a person is not employed they r not worthy enough.. so it is not the person, it is the career and the portfolio that gives the person his worth.. what a confused notion.. frustrations of being jobless.. leading to violence is all farce.. we are just trying to give a reason for an animal behavior emerged from a so called human… no..there are so many high profile educated / career holders who indulge in crimes.. break rules.. .. so.. it is basically a human behavior..let us not link so many unrelated things together..and most important of all.. let us keep a person and his portfolio separate..

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    • I disagree completely. While different people do derive their sense of self worth through varied channels, to say the link between unemployment and violence is a farce is simply naive. The so called “animal behaviour” that you speak of does not even exist in animals. Only humans. The reasons why people break rules and commit crimes are many. It is not unrelated. If you do keep a person and her actions separate, what remains? Again, it is not about finding excuses to justify behaviour but to find that there maybe some thread that runs in us all.

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  2. While I agree that a most of us define ourselves by what we do, it is necessary to separate ourselves from our actions. This does not mean not taking responsibility for our actions. It just means that “you are not your job”. Well, I’m just picking lines from the movie Fight Club. The complete dialogue goes like this: “You are not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your f***ing khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.” – very very, VERY aptly put.
    Going further, being the annoying economist that I am (or maybe not), the term “unemployment” is defined as follows: “a person is unemployed when he is willing to work but does not find gainful employment”. Which by logic means that you do not belong to the UUI – Unemployed Union of India!
    Cheer up. If you don’t want to work, so be it! If you want to sell stuff, you can sell anything these days. The great Indian middle class (read, irrational and illiterate consumers) are a blessing to advertisers. “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.” – sorry, Fight Club, again.

    Having said all of that, I can relate to this blog completely only because this is the future I will be stepping into a few months from now. One can only hope I do not become a menace to society, or even worse, maybe a vigilante.

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  3. Never really thought an economist can cheer things up…but well…unconventional after all 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts…and keep visiting

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