December 31, 2018

Food for Thought

For other lifeforms on earth, January 1 is just another day. The concept of “year” is necessary for us humans because we have a fundamental need to tell stories about our lives. Our stories can be categorized in the same way movies are: romance, comedy, action, tragedy, horror, etc.. But there are two major categories by which they are grouped: fiction and documentary. These also represent two different approaches to life.

Like with fictional movies, many people write their own scripts and star in their own movies. In my observation, this is how the majority of people live, just as the majority of movies Hollywood produces are fiction. They write the scripts and act accordingly. Day to day, the challenge is sticking to the script as closely as they can.

We assume this as the only way to live because, even as kids, we are constantly asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As adults, we are asked, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” Not being able to stick to the script is seen as a failure.

But if you see your life as a documentary film, your attitude would be decidedly different. You wouldn’t write a script; you simply follow your instinct and observe what happens. The story is written after the fact. Every day, you are concerned with keeping your eyes and ears open, so that you wouldn’t miss any meaningful moments life offers.

Either way, ultimately, all stories are fictional. Given the same set of facts, some will write boring stories while others will write captivating, beautiful stories.

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