(Relevance of the video should be evident as you finish reading the post. )
Back in December, I was spending a couple of days at a close friend’s house in what is probably my favourite city in all of the world. We were out for a walk, buying groceries for her mother’s luncheon party, and on the way home, she was asking me about my plans, having begun law school herself. I had said that I wasn’t sure as I wanted to be able to find the same level and sense of integrity in work as I did in life outside- an embodiment of Sartre’s concept of authenticity is how I saw it. I wouldn’t dismiss this as ‘ambivalence’ entirely, but I will excuse it as quite a fruitful exercise that everyone should be given the liberty to go through. I am of the opinion that it is only characteristic of a well-thought out long-term decision regarding the choices one makes in their life thereafter. Anyhow, the conversation with my friend came about to a discussion about what ‘ambition’ really is, and I have, ever since, been giving it thought. This is especially because I see it as a noble quality different from aggressiveness and being ruthless.
I have come to the conclusion that ‘ambition’ is the effort to be on ever-better terms with the world. To be able to be in sync with the global rhythm, and to not have to risk feeling thwarted by the unknown. A very helpful consequence of being truly ambitious, would be a quality of effervescent resilience, which stems from a genuine interest in life in all its completeness as a continuum of ups and downs, which in turn comes, for me, from nurturing positive relationships. I have been a sort of rebel, at least on the subconscious, all my life. It was not a deliberate effort to reject all that was mainstream, but a product of the constant exploration of what was otherwise. Maybe just maybe, this was because of the highly non-traditional upbringing that I had through my childhood, but I wouldn’t peg it all onto a single plausible cause. Eitherhow, even as I had (had?) been a maverick, could I not have rejected the existence of a sense of relationship with other people. Restrained and terse may have been the flavour largely, but there it was, stopping me from exploring a potential that I was not even aware of.
I don’t see myself as being unacceptable on certain parameters or an outcast anymore. I feel honest and authentic in my being in the present, and do not feel weighed down or limited by any of my past interactions- neither in nature nor quality. In fact, earlier this year when I was reading ‘Gone with the Wind‘ (a book that I would enthusiastically recommend to everybody) I could relate quite personally to Rhett Butler’s desire for his children to be accepted by the society that appealed to his sensibilities and had his respect and appreciation, even as they had rejected his self. The honesty and humility with which he recognized its value in shaping his children’s values, egos, and self-esteem is admirable, and it is with the same sentiment that I declare my own ‘maniacal’ ambition.