Thursday, May 29, 2014

This Blogger is Now a Graduate

I'm a representative of 'today's society'. I have a laptop, a smartphone, a tablet that I can read books on. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from a pretty prestigious university (Did I mention I graduated on the 11th? WHEEEEEEEEE!) I travel pretty often. I stay in touch with people who're miles and miles away, but don't necessarily know who most of the people who live near me are. And most of all, I live a largely sedentary lifestyle.

For me, the way I live is nothing really out of the ordinary. So many people do it. I'm just another person in the larger society who has to play my part, right? The other day though, I was thinking about how it would be to interact with an ancestor. Not a really, really old one, but maybe one or two centuries back. That's when the differences really struck me.

Back in the day, so much of the day consisted not in sitting down and staring at a computer screen all day, but standing and walking and doing physical labour; men and women both. Children, instead of playing racing games on their iPads and Xboxes, would spend considerable amounts of time outdoors, running around and potentially actually racing with their peers.

Instead of meals purchased at the frozen foods section, food was fresh and prepared daily, and I daresay much healthier than anything I choose to eat today.

People sent letters to others in faraway places, but had lots of interaction with their neighbours and the surrounding community.

Now, that's not to say that I'd love to go back and live in the past. Not at all. I love the blessings that modern plumbing has bestowed on us, and I recognise the fact that as a woman who wants a fulfilling career, I may not have had much options in the past. Definitely, going back two centuries would mean that my home would not be in my beloved Kenya, but rather in India, the place of my ancestors. Two centuries ago, as a 22 year old, I may have already been married (eek) and possibly even had children by now, when now, even having a dog may be a lot to look after. One of my great-something-grandmothers was married at 13, widowed at 18 with children, and lived to be about 99 plus if I'm not mistaken. At 18, my biggest concern was freshman year French.

I do think it would be nice to have a life that was faster paced; not with stress but with activity and interaction. Maybe awareness is key? I think I'll go take a walk and find out.

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3 comments:

Michael Munyi said...

Congratulations, Rosh. Very, very proud of you.

Roshni Walia said...

Thanks Michael!

Hardeep S said...

Another great blog entry! It's amazing how much has changed even in our lifetimes. I remember physical letters being the only connection between me and relatives in Kenya as a kid. Now, Whatsapp rules supreme! I remember my parents used to punish me (after getting out the chappal) by not letting me go outside to play with friends. Dare I say kids these days would welcome being imprisoned in their rooms haha. There's that great quote "Humans were never designed to live a sedentary lifestyle...they were designed to hunt sabretooth tigers and walk 40 miles a day". While I'm glad I don't actually have to do that, I think it's wise to keep active both mentally and physically :) Congratulations on getting your degree, wishing you all the best for the next chapter of your life.

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