We often struggle to try to understand the people around us... for different reasons. Sometimes we try to understand some people in a purely professional way where we try to judge whether or not this person is worth hiring. Most often we try to understand our loved ones in a personal way. But how do we go about understanding or knowing a person?
Its a world spinning out of control. All of us are driven by our ambitions and dreams. We know that life is short and its a race to attempt to leave a mark that will last long after we are gone. To pause or to even hesitate for a second will put us at the very back of the class. We need to always be on our toes. Multi-tasking is the norm now. In such a crazy dog-eat-dog world, where do we find time to try to "know" a person?
Human beings are good at finding answers to impossible questions. At least on the professional/academic front. So how do you know who I am and what I am capable of? How will you get to know me in the shortest possible span of time? Through my application? Through my statement of purpose? You need a recommendation letter? Oh, one won't suffice, you need three, thats alright. You wanna interact with me over a telephonic interview to learn more about my views on science? Sure why not. I'd love to talk to you. How else will you learn something about me? You want my resume too? Sure, that will tell you that not only am I keen on research, I also love sports and music. I can sketch pretty well too. You want to double confirm my birth place? Well... ok.. but I am not sure how that will help you assess me.
At the end of the day, with all these documents, you write to me to tell me that I won't fit in to your environment so I can't come and join you. That's fine. I am not bitter. Really, I swear. I am not. I don't blame anybody for anything. If there is anybody to blame, it is me, and me alone. I know that. I am not being sarcastic here. I believe the system to filter out who will fit into your group academically is quite efficient... smart... time-saving. After all, time is money. You need to get to know thousands of such hopefuls, not just me. I think its a good system... not perfect, definitely not perfect, but it works most of the time, you filter so that the best of the best join you. I can see your point of view. You need the best to stay on top in this hectic world.
Forget about professional and academic lives. Lets get personal. How do the people I love, the people who love me, get to know me better? What tells you something useful about me as a person? My blog? Maybe... I tend to bookmark significant events of my life here. I also tend to think out aloud. How else? My emails? Phone conversations? Gtalk chats? Of course, we do meet face to face quite often. Are you reading my every move in an attempt to understand me? Are you trying to interpret my body language? Does it mean anything to you that I can send long emails to you everyday then suddenly not send any at all for a week? Do you think its weird that I tend to write more blog posts during exam season or generally when I am stressed? I think its weird in a very understandable way.
At the end of the day, everybody in this world is just trying to stay connected through their hectic life-schedules. We all know the importance of trying to keep ahead of the pack, but at the same time, all of us need to have people to be close to, people who can understand us, our lives, our difficulties, and people whom we can understand and support.
We're not all psychologists. Our minds aren't actively searching for clues in emails, blogs, chats etc that can tell us something extra about the people we love.
But we can't deny that we are passively wondering all the time....