In my first year at IIT, we had a race — no, not the rat race, but a literal one. We had to pick a humanities course, which was assigned ‘first come, first served.’

Prof Amit Ray’s course on arts/design was the most popular — he gave ‘A’ grades quite liberally. And the most dreaded was ‘Symbolic Logic’, where a ‘C’ would be respectable.

Given how lazy I was, I was nearly the last to register, and got ‘Symbolic Logic.’

Turns out, Logic was the only course at IIT that I really loved. It changed me so much that when I watched TV debates, all I would see was logical fallacies 🙂

Here is an illustration: If I say hard work is necessary for success, someone might say, “No, that guy worked hard and still failed.”

Turns out, ‘hard work is necessary’ does not mean it is sufficient. (In more technical language — ‘Success implies hard work’ is not the same as ‘Hard work implies success.’)

But my point is something bigger — conventional wisdom will often rank-order things and tell you what is good and what isn’t.

Conventional wisdom isn’t totally wrong but it is the ‘average’ viewpoint. But you are not the average of all human beings. Then why would you go with the ‘average’ viewpoint’?

Don’t go with the crowd automatically, because you are not the crowd. You are a unique individual — there is nobody else like you.

So stand up for yourself because nobody else can, or will.

– Rajan


Similar Posts