How I hate the feeling of being Messiah

  Today a colleague of mine in the department told me that he didn’t pass the quals, hence must leave after spring to find a job in the real world. I felt instantly uneasy at that point. I mean I have passed them myself, but was I spending all my time taking financial math with someone who has been eliminated as mathematically uninclined? Furthermore I had secretly cheered myself over my ability to solve some hw problems faster than this guy did, but alas, I shouldn’t even have compared with him in the first place. Of course I am not so base, and I quickly rid myself of such hostile thoughts, which I was never fond of. Instead what came next was a sense of remorse, sympathy, and true sadness. The dude looked awfully normal, saying he still wished to finish PhD despite his determined attitude towards a financial career. His candidacy also made him a friend of rare quality. I was so lost in how to comfort him at that point. To me I would probably have a real hard time swallow this kind of misfortune.
  Then the real shift of mind came after I got home, when I started to think about my own summer internships. I suddenly feel I am robbing a needy man of deparately sought jobs, merely to satisfy my curiosity, or so called career forward-looking attitude. The guilt within me urged me to let go of any lucrative opportunity in order to save a lost, god-forsaken soul. In some sense I started to play God again, just like I did before; this time however I was conscuously aware of the dire consequence of such passive thinking on myself. I might eventually treat others with too much unduly mercy and considerateness that I place my own natural competitive instinct at an inferior position. Once I begin to be morally judgmental, my rationality gets defiled and I can hardly be articulate in daily intercourse any longer. Therefore the easy way out is to suppress my patronizing urge in the face of comparative victory, and get a sense of crisis coming in the near future.
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About aquazorcarson

math PhD at Stanford, studying probability
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One Response to How I hate the feeling of being Messiah

  1. arena says:

    what a pity.
    The competition is really fierce.
    And only give spare time for finance maths if your real major doesn’t allow.
    Or all the time for the latter since it’s bread and butter.
    –only advice

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