“Daddy didn’t give attention to the fact that mommy didn’t care… Jeremy spoke in class today!” – Eddie Vedder has a way of singing the song, and I think you’d agree. Pearl Jam are one of the few who’ve survived the grunge movement and managed to hold on to their loyal fan base. But, other than the band itself, it is the song that draws my attention. Vedder based the song on a true story of a boy who shot himself at school in front of his classmates. What the boy could have experienced to do that is very much what we all could have gone through in our lives. It is the support that this society sometimes fails to gives that drives us to such measures. But, more than that, the suicide of the boy could be the one way he thought possible to break the bonds of institutionalisation. There are those people who deal with it, accept it at one point, and move on, including the very concept as an undeniable part of their lives. But then, there are also those who decide to fight it. I’d say fighting change is one thing, but fighting stagnation is another. Change can be fought easily because all you have to do is go with the flow. Things are moving, thoughts are walking in and out of doors – and if you just care to make a difference, you only need to think different, to inspire people differently. But stagnation is rigid. It is a set form, and breaking it takes knuckles of steel.
Institutionalisation is damnation, I tell you. It reduces talented people to robots, and it will always seem to be at work until you can see yourself bogged down by mediocrity. Just a few minutes back, I was conversing with a senior of mine here in college, and he was telling me about how his friends – some of the brilliant – were, in the morning, running around asking people what shoes they must wear for the day. I guess that’s an everyday sort of question, but not when the only thing you lhave left to do that day is nothing! Institutionalisation will lower your expections and defeat your passion like no other. You will so become accustomed to changelessness that change will distract you as an aberration. When we all, as students of a college, move into an outside world that is very much going to be bereft of friendly faces, we will be scared no doubt. I say we defeat stagnation here and now. What we are doing these days is blaming our loss of individuality on stagnation, but I believe that the truth is the other way: our stagnation is because of our loss of individuality! I know it is not easy to wake up one morning and decide to change your world for youself, but where such and such a changelessness lies is in your mind. We build walls around ourselves – walls of satisfaction that seem to step up to satiate our every need, till the day comes that they seem sufficient enough to quell even our innermost desires. Here in college, we have small rooms distributed as 30-per-floor, and each hostel block has 5 floors excluding the ground. Every day, all we have to do is wake up, referesh ourselves, walk out our doors, see the same faces day after day, guzzle our breakfast, and walk to college. The amount of creativity in that particular process is dwindling and, amazingly, people around me have fewer and fewer reasons each day to move out of the four walls of our campus and associate with different people, people who aren’t actually constrained in their heads like we are.
It is such small things that defeat novelty, innovation and, ultimately, the need for change, even sometimes entrepreneurship. Some people can’t recognise institutionalisation even if they have succumbed to it, and it is because what ever desire they seem to inculcate, they either get it or lose it; I have never known any one to win it or refuse it. They forget how to it is to fight such things. I know change is a difficult thing – it necessitates the need to learn, but only by learning anything can you belong in your future. In defeating your inherent creativity, you are only defeating your ability to change, and to change today is to adapt into a better tomorrow.