Cities and Ambition - My Experience08 Apr 2010
Paul Graham wrote a nice essay titled "Cities and Ambition". When I read it, I had already returned to Kanpur (my hometown), I took the essay in slightly different manner i.e. I challenged it and motivated myself by thinking, I can do great stuff from this city.
Just after one year or little more, I am in agreement with that essay. I realize, how a good city (and people there) matter in whatever you do.
At work, I ended spending most of time dealing with personnel issues and trying to mentor about obvious things (in development and programming).
Outside of work, I don't feel like going out anywhere, not even walking on streets. I just don't like the attitude, psyche and habits of people here. I have, slowly, stopped doing all activities - photography, bike-rides, blogging, participation-in-events, exercising, etc. I am trying to understand the reason, I imagine it could be because of lack of motivation or I am too busy trying to do a few things.
Another important thing, it doesn't matter, who is holding what position, or how much rich one is, or what is someone's background - most of them don't know the basic etiquette and manners (traffic, talking, respecting, eating, etc). Everyone appears to be selfish, who just cares about himself and his things (house, car, job, etc). No one bothers to care about other people and city.
I don't know, I can change others but I have kept myself the way I have been i.e. I still avoid throwing garbage on streets, spitting anywhere and doing other bad things, so common here in Kanpur.
Unfortunately, children inherit these bad habits/values from their elders, and are not able to figure out that most of inherited values are not good.
The worst thing in this city is the kind of attention a girl/woman gets from males (from 7 yrs to 80+ yrs). It's weird to see the bad treatment given by males to females almost anywhere (roads, shops, cafe, etc). One could easily notice these things. Hard to imagine, how much a female-of-kanpur has to go through and tolerate.
It's sad, but true, today whatever Kanpur is because of it's people. I am not complaining here; I am just writing what I notice - Kanpur is not a good city. It could have been better or remained better (as it was some decades back), if people were better. We (Kanpurites) deserve whatever (bad culture, bad public infrastructure, etc) we have now.
The day, we start changing our attitude and habits, we would see the change.
Meanwhile, I am going to work hard to be what I am, if I can't get better. Things said above, are trying hard to change me, directly and indirectly. Each and every moment of the day remind me of my ambition and vision, I would not let anything stop me from doing it. If It takes me to move out of the city, I am now ready to do that too.