Facing Boredom

Hi there,

Welcome to another edition of Simpler Sundays. This is the second newsletter in the weekly series I started last week. If you’d like any of your friends or family to subscribe to this newsletter, you can share this link. That said, let’s begin this week’s newsletter.

A few days back, I was watching a movie called ‘12 Years A Slave’. The Academy-Award-winning movie is based on the real-life story of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery.

This slave memoir is a brutally honest account of the hardships faced by slaves in pre-Civil War United States. I had read about slavery before. But experiencing it from the perspective of a slave had a much deeper impact on me.

It re-emphasized the fact that cinema can be a magnificent tool in educating people. It can not only entertain but also inspire.

Watching this movie made me develop empathy for people who are racially abused. It also helped imbibe a sense of gratitude for the things that I take for granted in my life.

I sometimes grumble about putting an extra hour of work in my office. But now, I can only appreciate the flexibility and benefits my company offers me while also giving me a regular paycheck.

I sometimes complain about my food. But now, I can only appreciate food being there on my plate and at the time of my choosing.

I am not saying that one should stop expecting higher standards from things or people just because the slaves lived like that. I only ask you to incorporate a touch of gratitude in your lives.

I understand that getting through this quarantine and lockdown is difficult. But having a wider perspective will make you realize that people have had it worse in life.

While we are forced to sit in our homes, our ancestors were forced to go to wars. While we look for a way out of boredom, people used to struggle to get even a few hours of rest.

Facing boredom can be quite tiresome, but not having freedom was much worse.

All in all, the biggest lesson I took from this movie was the appreciation of life.

I started appreciating my freedom. The freedom that our ancestors had fought hard for.

Another takeaway

On a separate note, this movie also made me realize that America isn’t as great as we make it out to be.

We Indians have a special affinity towards America as we believe that the Americans are the coolest people on the planet. We believe that America is probably the greatest country. A big reason behind this is Hollywood.

Watching Hollywood movies while growing up, we saw the Americans take on aliens, control disease outbreaks, and single-handedly save the entire planet. We saw them as superheroes, action stars, visionaries, geniuses, and whatnot.

But it all goes to drain if you look at the reality. Just look at how the Americans are dealing with this COVID-19 pandemic and you’ll realize its flaws. Just picking up a history book will help you see that America was the same country that legalized slavery.

At this point, I must also point out that the Civil War (the bloodiest war in American history) was fought between people who wanted to abolish slavery and those who supported slavery.

The only point I want to make here is that as Indians, we must learn to take more pride in our rich history rather looking up to Westerners. Everyone makes mistakes. Each country has its own share of black marks.

(Apologies if I went off track with this section, but I had to speak about it.)

The Good Word

As you might know, the ‘Good Word’ is a series showcasing my favorite quotes/phrases from other writers. So here’s this week’s Good Word.

We suffer for the simple reason that suffering is biologically useful. It’s nature’s preferred agent for change. We’ve evolved to always live with a degree of dissatisfaction because it’s the dissatisfied and insecure creature that’s going to do the most work to innovate and survive.

– Mark Manson

VyasSpeaks Featured Post

This week’s featured post is informational as well as entertaining. I had a lot of fun writing this one. I hope you also have fun reading it. It’s about a simple grammar concept called ‘Correlative Conjunctions’. Read the article by clicking the link below.

A Brief Introduction to Correlative Conjunctions

That’s all for this week. I’ll see you next Sunday.

Stay safe and take care.

With love,
Shikhil Vyas

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