Re-posting a touching article I just read on Medium. Find it here
What I have learnt in these last few years of emotional turmoil and deep reflection, is that, we cannot find meaning, with or without a child, if one does not first, become as complete a human being as possible. Perhaps being completely self-sufficient is not realistic, given that we humans are social creatures and somehow evolved to depend on one another. However, my observations suggest that we are, as a generation, extremely dependent on external validation, with motherhood being, among the easiest ways of being immediately validated as a woman (the other being postings on social media). Instead, we require society to direct us towards a choice that gives some meaning to our lives, such as careers and/or parenthood.
Which makes me wonder, why do we do what we do? Why do we share the things we write, images we take etc? Asking ourselves these questions constantly is a good practice to make sure that whatever we do is in line with what we truly want, and not out of the expectations external to ourselves.
I entered science full of optimism and left a top ivy league university lab feeling disillusioned with lack of meaning in my work. My advisor encouraged each of us graduate students that a scientific career was reserved for only the fittest…in a Darwinian sense of the term. In fact, today’s scientific career leaves very little space for neurodiversity. Introverts (like Einstein) just cannot flourish in an environment where people are encouraged to publish or perish. The science of today is filled with errors and irreproducibility because all the truth-seeking/meaning-driven people have been weeded out by the system and those that remain are of certain personality types that drive a certain type of science. Perhaps this is particularly true of the biological sciences although such attitudes in academic theoretical physics are increasingly commonplace.This article at the Guardian sums it up clearly here :
If Einstein’s project had relied on a grant application today, it would surely be rejected; probably no young scientist could afford the luxury of contemplating it in the first place. It’s not clear there is a space for Einsteins in modern science any longer.