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This is Raj, and he knows what he’s going to do when he’s older. Unfortunately, he can’t say the same thing about his parents. Both of them are doctors. And they’re absolutely sure that Raj is going to become a doctor as well, and seem to go deaf whenever he tries to inform them that he has other plans.
Raj’s folks are both very ambitious. They came to America as children and went to school there. Each of them knew from the very beginning that they were going to become doctors, so all their studies were dedicated to achieving that goal. There’s no need to explain the details of all the hard work they put in to achieving their aims; all that needs to be said is that they met at medical school and both graduated with the highest grades. They’re now well-respected medical doctors and scientists. What could possibly go wrong in their lives, you would ask? Here’s what: their own son, Raj.
There was never a moment of doubt that Raj was destined to become a doctor. When he was still a baby, his favorite toy was a model of a human body with all its internal organs. The book he used to learn to read with was a collection of anatomic charts. And already by the time he was five, he knew the Latin names of most of the human bones! Imagine, when all the normal children had their favorite teddy bears, Raj had a small cute skeleton called Dudley. There was simply no discussion in the family on what his natural talents might be, or what subjects he might be stronger in – no, none of that. He was supposed to follow the now well-established family tradition.
It’s not that Raj at the time objected or anything. He was growing up in the world of medicine, completely surrounded by all these things, and he was very comfortable in it. After all, if your parents tell you almost from birth that you’re are going to be a doctor, you get accustomed to the idea. And why on Earth would you disobey? A child never minds. It was at school that he later realized that he may have been cheated on by this approach. Everyone else was dreaming about becoming something thrilling, like an actor or a businessman – even a bank trader sounded like something exotic to Raj! When he went to talk to his parents and asked why he had never had any choice, they snorted: “Oh come on, why wouldn’t you want to become a doctor?” And of course, at such a young age, he had no answer to that one.
But Raj was growing up, and an awareness of what he really wanted was slowly arising inside of him. He didn’t want to become a doctor. He didn’t have any difficulties in his science classes; chemistry and biology had been his best friends for years – but what he really liked most was creative writing, social science, and politics. That was a shock for him to realize. Try to explain a thing like this to your parents when they have already planned your life until the moment when you receive your Nobel prize in medicine at the age of 70. Right before high school, he struck up the nerve and confronted them openly. He spoke frankly. “Mom, dad, I am not going to be a doctor. I want to be a journalist.”
You should have seen that drama. It was as though he had informed them that he’d murdered three people and was going to jail. Sure, it probably wasn’t pleasant for them to hear, but it was by no means a tragedy. But Raj’s parents clearly saw it differently. “A journalist? Are you kidding me?!” Raj had been sure that he’d be able to reason with them, but they were so angry that he felt lost. He tried to explain to them that he wanted to become an investigative journalist, that it was a respectable job, that he would focus on politics and economics, and that his ambition was to make the world a better place in his own small way. But it was all in vain. “Is that even a real job?” they asked. “You’re going to do what WE tell you to do!”
At this point, despite feeling very disappointed and offended, Raj felt the spirit of rebellion rise up inside of him. He understood that they might dislike the idea, but you can’t belittle your own son’s aspirations and ambitions like that! And it was very offensive to see that his opinion wasn’t considered relevant at all. He asked them a couple of times if they might change their mind. Nothing. So that is how he came to elaborate his strategy. He went to see his parents once more, and said: “Have it your way. In high school I’ll take up advanced natural sciences and prepare to become a doctor.” They were satisfied. “See, we knew you would give up that nonsense”. What he didn’t tell them was that he would be preparing to become a doctor at high school. But what he was going to actually STUDY was...journalism!
Now Raj is in high school, and he’s busy dedicating himself to his dream. He has a secret blog where he publishes his first political articles.
Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com