A few years ago, I was sitting in a room full of people and discussing a project we were working on at the time. We debated issues back and forth until someone, i don't want to mention who, spoke up and said the most scandalous thing ever. "This is redundant". Those words come to mind now, a few years later when I look around me. There comes a point in life where everything becomes redundant.
Life as we know it, is at at a revolutionary time, a time when what was once impossible is possible, what was once inaccessble is now easily available. What was once valuable, is now drowned in the crowd. It is an epic time for many people, and a tragic time for others. I'm pretty sure you have no clue what i'm talking about. Or maybe you do, unfortunately.
A few years ago, for some strange reason I wanted to rent a DVD from the video library next door. I hadn't done that in a while. It was one of those 'for old times sake' moments. When I got there, I found an empty room with a few packed boxes, and the guy had two DVDs available for rent. He was wrapping up his store. He had been put out of business by none other than the Internet. No one needed to rent movies from him, and pay him a 100 bucks for it when they could just download it off the internet. It was awesome for all of us who could sit on our behinds at home and save 100 bucks. It was not awesome for a business owner who probably has a wife and kids to feed. What does he do next? His business was redundant.
The tech revolution we are in has changed things for the better for most of us. For example, at work, I have the blessing of being about to create multiple videos in a very limited time. I can meet deadlines and do more than I could a few years ago. I have access to better technology and software. We can now do more in less time. We can reach more people and help more people. Apart from awesome tools and software, everyone living in this privileged time has a platform to share the gift they have. The social media revolution is like having a jam packed auditorium with an empty stage and you can say and do whatever you feel like. You can sell your product, raise awareness about your cause, make music, or just look pretty. You have an audience. In the past, you would probably have to work hard and be pretty damn good to get an audience.
It's definitely an old person thing to do when you complain about the so called evils of technology. I'm not too old, but I've had a glimpse of both sides. When I was younger, my dad would load a roll of film into his old SLR camera and teach me how to take a picture. How to paint with light, not just how to press a button. And I would take a ton of pictures (27 was all you could fit in anyway - it felt like a ton). I would give my roll of film to the store, and wait eagerly for my pretty printed pictures. 20 of them would suck, but 7 would be epic. I remember valuing those 27 shots. You would never just click without thinking.
When I was 15, I used to sit with my dad in his studio and learn how to edit on Avid. I learn't to put clips together, how to colour correct and make things pretty. Avid had limited effects. If you wanted more cool stuff, you could buy plug-ins. But hey, that would be spoiling me. I would learn to manually make things move and make titles the way I wanted them to look. A few years later, I was completely outraged when I saw softwares that have ready made presets and all you had to do is drag and drop. These softwares made me uncool over night. Now suddenly, everyone can do what I could do, and they can do it better. It sucks to be uncool. I can't imagine how the older people felt. As for picture taking, all you have to do is marry a DSLR, change your last name to Photography and make a facebook page. Sure, there are people who are absolutely brilliant at it, but there are so many of them who are brilliant. The new kids are easily lost in the crowd and the people who spent months and years doing what we can now do in weeks, are redundant.
At this point I don't blame you if you want to stop reading. You are probably offended or upset or just don't like to hear people cribbing about life or you are still looking for the signature funny part of my article. But hey I'm not done yet. If you stay, I'll be extra nice to you, and I have tons of m&m's in my fridge. Years ago, when Kavi called something redundant, it wasn't necessarily a negative thing. Did I just mention that Kavi said it? Oops. When she uttered those words, the reactions in the room were very similar to the reactions in the world today. Some were offended, some were in denial and some thought she was absolutely right, and at some level we all knew she was right. But face it, Its scary to be redundant. It seems like the end. At the same time, it is also a newer, better beginning.
I read somewhere that every new beginning comes from some other new beginning's end. (I wish I had written that). People and businesses are constantly becoming redundant and replaced by the newer, the better and the shinier. Human beings are constantly outsmarting one another, and outsmarting themselves. A caveman probably got pretty ticked off when he saw a guy invent a knife, and the guy with the knife was probably more ticked off at the guy with a gun. This is why I'm not so worried about the video library guy and what became of him. Simply because he is one among the most epic creations that the universe has ever seen. He is human. (and probably Malayalee)
Humans are designed to constantly get better and better and better. We are designed to create. We have an infinite mysterious potential to come up with stuff that blows every ones minds and blows ours own mind. It's that moment when you look at your own creation - a picture, a movie, a burger, a paper boat and say wow, I made that. You are powerful. You can change the course of life as we know it. It's a scary time, when you are forced to put your life into boxes and you are afraid to open them up again. Its scary to be lost in the crowd wondering if you will ever be noticed. Its terrifying. But It could be even more scary when you realise your potential. If you think you are not creative, capable and welling with potential, its blasphemy. You are the most fascinating, mind blowing, crazy capable thing the universe has ever seen. You are human. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are created in the image of The Creator.
Don't apologise for the damage you are doing. Go forth and be awesome!
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