I could never relate to Shakespeare when I was in school. In spite of going through rounds of discussions about the context which his plays outlined, and the states of mind and moods he was portraying were all so alien to me. And came yesterday when it all changed...
Macbeth (V, v, 19) from allshakespeare.com
"To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Looking back, at the monotonous working life that some of us new professionals lead, and the millions of small issues that occupy every inch of room available in our thoughts, this soliloquy came to me out of the blue. Suddenly, I didn't feel so distant from what Shakespeare was trying to say.
Home and work and home and work and weekend and going out and party and laundry and meeting people and paying bills and next week and work and home and ... if you haven't noticed, the vicious cycle keeps repeating itself. Obviously its not so simple... we keep adding bits and pieces here and there to spice things up and cut the monotony, but who are we kidding?
I have asked many like me whether they are happy or content with what they do, or their lifestyle, and the answer has been an indisputable "NO". Why are we not happy?
One of the justifications that I could come up with is that we have been walking the same rails that our ancestors have and their ancestors have... only times have changed. The discomfort with the routine has gained more prominence at this age, since life in general has become more stable and secure. We are walking shadows of the corporate enclosure, an implicit stage on which we perform our duties, and are discarded when we have served our purposes.
There are those who recognize this pattern, and take to the streets, blast bombs to get people's attention, just to take the rage off them. And there are those who take to religion or spirituality and give themselves to god to dissipate their agony. Neither set out to resolve the problem! We keep craving deeply for a purpose to give our insignificant existence its meaning.
I don't know whether it will help to take a step back and look inside ourselves for an answer. We might just find what we truly appreciate doing, an act which gives us true joy and a sense of accomplishment. It might not be possible to do away with the age-old routine - the lifestyle we lead. However, if a means of interlacing our work and this one thing which we are passionate about, there might just come about a possibility of happiness!