We come into this world as a single sperm cell fertilising an ovum, and we leave it as a culinary delight of worms. With sex and death being the only inevitable and unsinkable ends to our existence. And even though we are faced with the infinitesimal nature of our existence, society seems to continually want to enforce the weight of the world upon our shoulders.

Let me take you back to every time this situation took place throughout your education. The seen is a classroom, the plot; a teacher asking a classroom full of students: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

You see, the education system has its benefits, but we seem to be oblivious to how much it has diverted from its initial purpose of widening our horizon of knowledge, to becoming this machine responsible for establishing a profitable marketplace.

How differently would we approach knowledge if we were not confined by the limits of which jobs paid more? Which subject areas were rendered more prestigious? Which schools suited best with our grades, and our extracurriculars?

A good thought to really ponder upon and examine with great scrutiny would be our motivation for our pursuit of knowledge, and even though I’m not a believer in labelling anything as good or bad, an alarming motivation would be anything but curiosity. The concept of polymathy is dying, we are no longer encouraging pursuits motivated by curiosity. We, as a society are conducting a genocide towards the Leonardo Da Vincis, the Omar Khayyams, the Ibn Sinas, and Ibn Haythams, The Francis Bacons, the Michaelangelos.

Tell someone they can be a mathematician a poet a geographer and an astronomer, all actively and simultaneously today, and see the gaping looks upon their faces at the nonsense you’ve murmured.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
The answer to this question is ever changing, for if you ask children you’ll get all sorts of dreamy answers that are nonsensical to our adult limited brains, and as the level of education progresses and confinement sets in, people become more ordinary, and if you were to ask the same question to college students I bet you a great deal of them would tell you they aim to be successful.
And you know that this is a byproduct of capitalism because success in our modern times is only measured by how much material wealth you make, and how much power you possess.

What do I want to be when I grow up?
You know why this question is greatly flawed? It’s because it’s not only misleading, but it subliminally gives an expiry date to your ability to dream new dreams and aspire towards achieving them. We do grow physically, but that is irrelevant to such confinement. Never let anyone tell you when you’re supposed to stop growing, because growing is a process as lasting as your existence, and it only ends when you end; with all different directions for you to grow before that, for you can grow upwards, or close mindedly downwards, or inwards towards the self, or outwards towards the world, or backwards towards beliefs you thought you outgrew. Growing is limitless.

What do I want to be when I grow up?
I might not know or possess an answer for such ignorant question, but I know what I do not wish to be. I do not want to wake up 20 years from now miserable because I was led by a flawed system to make a decision for not just my current self, but all myselves that will ever be. And you might wonder why I say selves, did you know that it takes five years for every last atom in your body to change? So five years ago; you were a completely different person. Five years from now? Completely different person, 20 years from now? Guess what, different person.

Knowing of our ever changing nature, and still implementing such horrid expiry dates to our wants and whims and dreams, is a crime.

I ask of you, to never be confined or limited, to never settle for anything if it does not achieve fulfilment for you, even if it did once but it stopped. I have participated in such questioning of self for my whole life, until I decided one day that I’m going to stop settling and start doing everything I am curious about. I started doing Art, and Poetry, and Photography and Graphic Designs, and studying Astronomy, and studying Languages and Programming and Math. And working all sorts of weird jobs, and they have given my existence more meaning, and unveiled more of my wants and whims and dreams for me, and those are exactly what I will pursue. I’m not done dreaming new dreams and pursuing them, I’m not even nearly finished pursuing knowledge in everything I am curious about. And I am sure 20 years from now I will not have finished yet.

What do I want to be when I grow up?
When I grow up I want to simply be.


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