Tuesday, June 15, 2010


1. To fight, especially with your hands
2. To use a lot of effort to defeat someone, prevent something or achieve something

What do we know of struggle? I, a city dwelling, middle class female, don't think I've ever actually struggled in my life, in the true sense of the word. Well, we all have our minor situations. For me, it has been tackling extremely full buses, dealing with Sri Lanka's bureaucratic delays, people with no sense of responsibility, a 1 year and 8 month long lousy relationship and extremely rainy days. Add to the list a car accident. Yes, I think that's pretty much it. Unless 'struggling' to win an event in Need For Speed on the PSP counts.

True struggle makes for great movies. Love Story, Man On Fire, Invictus, Blind Side, My Sister's Keepr, Million Dollar Baby, Erin Brockowich and so much more. Striving to win games and make their voices heard all involve working hard to get what they want.

Sri Lanka ended its civil war of three decades last year and while the presence of war didn't affect me in any way, even in the absence of it, there are loads of people struggling with their own internal wars. Loads of children who are parent-less and psychologically affected. Loads of families who are homeless. Thousands of soldiers scarred by the conflict, both mentally and physically. Their struggle will never end.

On a global scale, there are countries struggling with civil war, corrupt governments, oil spills and natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes.

Struggle is everywhere. But without the difficulty of getting to your destination, is the journey worth it? If everything was handed to us on a silver platter, would we value it as much? Would we have the same amount of satisfaction? The hardships and obstacles we face every step of the way makes arriving at our destination ever the more sweeter and victorious. The sense of achievement is unbelievable and priceless.

Whatever our struggle may be, be it an emotional one or the reaching of personal goals, it's not the destination that makes the person we are at the end of the journey, it is the journey itself. It is the struggle that makes us better citizens of the world. It is the struggle that makes us stronger.

Monday, June 14, 2010


"Someone who has a lot of ability and strong desire to be successful and is therefore expected to achieve a lot."

I have met quite a few highflyers in my life, those with the unflagging, non-faltering desire to come out on top, to best others.

I had that desire too, to come out on top, to beat my competitors and I did several times. But now my priorities have changed. I am 22, turning on 23 and I am happy with just passing on to the next stage.

Am I wrong to believe that there are better things in life than being on top of your career and being highly ambitious? I believe that love, relationships, family, being there for your loved ones and experiencing all the good things in life definitely trump being a highflyer and always working towards victory.

I know people who have focused only on their education and careers and are clueless on how to handle their messed up personal lives. I prefer having no career at all to coming home after a successful day at work to an empty house or having a phone that doesn't ring with my other half's voice on the other end.

There are the fortunate few who find the balance in their lives between their careers and their personal lives. But a majority don't know how to find it or don't want to. Both screw up their homes. How many people do we know who are in 'enviable' top positions in major multinational companies? They have the money, the prestige. But is that enough?

At the end of the day, when they lay their heads on that comfortable pillow, are they happy with that million dollar account they landed at work or sad that they didn't have the time to spend ten minutes with their children the whole day or speak with their spouses about how their day had been?

All parents want their children to be highflyers; successful, respected individuals who will make them proud. They spend a fortune on their children's educations, encourage them to top their class and expect them to do the same for the rest of their lives. How many parents teach their children about the valuable things in life apart from the hotshot career? Aren't those secondary?

I shall be a highflyer too. Definitely. But I'll be successful in those things that I deem important, those things that'll give me everlasting happiness.