Japanese (n.) the beauty of imperfection; an acceptance of things as they are.
This past year I juggled my time between Netflix series, watching K-dramas, learning skills and polishing my knowledge to some extent. All this while, at the back of my mind I wanted myself to be more productive with every passing day because of the uncertainty of the lockdown coming to an end, forcing us to get back to our normal lives. At the same time, my lazy self would seize my thoughts and wish I could skip the hardworking stage of life and jump to being a retired woman.
That is when it struck me what it would be like to being born in 1900.
Picture this: When you’re 14, it’s the beginning of World War I that ends when you are 18 with 22 million people dead. Shortly after, the ‘Spanish Flu’ kills 50 million people. Then at the age of 29, you survive the global economic crisis that started with the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange causing inflation, unemployment and hunger. You turn 39 when World War ll begins and it ends when you are 45 with 6 million+ Jews dead & around 75 million people in total. There would have been more than 150 million people dead before your 52nd birthday when the Korean war begins. When you’re 64, you experience the gruesome Vietnam war.
In 2021, many of us live in comfort, have access to various sources of entertainment at home and often have more than needed. But we as humans, complain about everything. There’s electricity, phone, food, hot water and a roof over their heads. Humanity survived many more serious circumstances like the current pandemic and never lost the joy of life, just like a retired woman. Maybe it’s time to be less selfish, but this in any way doesn’t prove that we have it all easy. Even selfishness has a reason.
Our generation might not have to swim to reach school, financial conditions have improved, topics like mental health and sexuality are discussed openly BUT it doesn’t conclude that we live in clover. Each generation is moulded by the time they grew up and has to face their own set of challenges. Increased competitiveness, the pressure to shine amongst the crowd, staying strong to your decisions and surviving the rat race are to name a few.
Generation Z inherits the world passed down to them- a world teeming with problems. We are less like wanderers more like cartographers, who every day set out to chart the terrain around ourselves so as to develop paths to move from move place- educational, cultural, political or spiritual- to another. It is rightly said that ‘Spending today complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any better’. Hence taking this as an opportunity and learning from experience we rightfully fulfil the purpose of a cartographer; to explore the treacherous for the sake of a brighter tomorrow.
By Mahek Medh