I have a curious case of ‘Motivate Others And Get Motivated’.
I met one really cool guy late last year at a company I worked. His name is Solomon. Solomon was the correct content-guy, the singing-guy, the novels-guy (thanks once again for the secret trove of literature you led me to), the Mali-music guy, the common-sense-guy, and the I-have-a-sound-opinion-about-stuff guy. He was excited when he found out that I was writing every day of the year last year (he may have been the first person who made me know what a great feat that was).
Anyway, I had a discussion with Solomon today and somehow, I ended up encouraging him to go ahead and do the ‘one article per day’ thing too. April 1 – December 31. Only that, few keypad strokes later, I saw myself telling him that I could totally join him. And he ‘was game!’ I slept after that and dreamt of my spontaneous life choices.
So, here I am, once again, taking up this challenge of writing everyday till December 31. Guys, I cannot fail.
I often think about what it feels like to be a firstborn. The responsibility, the expectations, the conforming, the leadership, etc etc. I can easily tell when a person is the firstborn. They have a vibe around them that screams, ‘I am in charge!’ Not all of them, but most of them.
I always think that firstborns are carefully selected torchbearers sent by God to light the way for the other children. They are born with an inherent ability to lead (whether or not they harness it). They are sent into the world with the thickest skin – for no matter how old a person is, they must learn to parent; mostly through trial and error.
Firstborns continue to light the way for the other children. They remain an example to them, a star by which the others are lead; a standard by which the others are judged. It will always be said to a firstborn, ‘If you you’re acting this way, what do you expect your siblings to do?’ It will always be said to them ‘It is whatever you do that your siblings will do.’
While I think of all these things and get scared for firstborns in my head, I am consoled by the fact that I believe that they are born with an ability to match the responsibility they have been given. I never worry so much about them. I tell myself, ‘They are born to be firstborns! They’ll be fine!’
But today I met a young lady. She had that same air of confidence and leadership I spoke about. She seemed super strong and made up her mind easily about things. So, as usual, I asked her whether she was a firstborn. She simply smiled at me and said, ‘By circumstance’.
‘What do you mean ‘by circumstance’, I said.
‘I’m not firstborn, I’m the third born. But death has pulled out two rungs of the ladder above me. So now, I’m the first rung; not the firstborn’
And I thought ‘wow’.
How does it feel to be a made a firstborn?
To sleep one night as the third child and wake up the next morning as the first child?
How does it feel to suddenly enter into huge shoes of responsibility?
To be required to fill the gap for two whole human beings, and yet remain yourself?
How does it feel to lose those who you look up to?
To have a pair of eyes look up to you, and only you.
How does it feel to suddenly be the voice of reason?
To be asked for opinions you are yet to form?
How does it feel be called the first child?
To know you’re the third born, but the first child.