As a young person in my early to mid-twenties who had to determine which direction to take in life in terms of career and occupation – and especially when doing so after abandoning conventional or “safe” occupations such as law, medicine, and engineering – I had to weigh for physical and mental health purposes whether negativity and toxicity are greater in the government and policy realm, or whether negativity and toxicity are greatest in the academia and journalism realm. Initially, I was interested in both paths. And as I mentioned before, negativity and toxicity exist in both realms, and when one assesses and weighs where the negativity and toxicity are heaviest, there has to be a certain level of subjectivity involved in such an assessment.
I can only attest to personal experiences in the fostering of such an assessment, and others will perhaps have their own assessment or views regarding where the negativity and toxicity are greatest. If one were in my shoes and were forced to encounter right off the bat certain individuals in the journalism realm who come from your own culture – namely, Persian and South Asian culture – but whose level of maturity and scope of cosmological view and worldview are less than those of a child, then you would perhaps assume that the negativity and toxicity in the academic and journalism realm outweigh the negativity and toxicity in the government and policy realm.
But in any case, the only way the negativity and toxicity emanating from certain individuals in a certain field can deter a person from pursuing a certain path is the level of one’s own desire and will. After experimenting virtually everything else, from working at a gas station in high school to accounting in college, all the way to assisting an ambassador of a country before I even turned thirty, I enjoy nothing more than writing and teaching people. And if I can elevate the writing and teaching to a university level, then be it.
However, it is quite ironic that the stiffest resistance to your own efforts come from individuals who are from the same cultural background as you are. Once you absorb the negative energy, toxicity, and headache which comes from people who are older than you and are from the same cultural background as you are, you then realize why one of them is divorced and the other one has not been able to find a husband yet. Not to mention the good intentions and good will you had towards them in the beginning. Their only response to your good intentions and good will end up being getting snubbed on LinkedIn, as well as mind games and snide comments. If I were as thin-skinned as I was in the past, my reaction would be quite different than my current reaction. But at the prime of my adulthood, I try to keep my reactions and responses measured. After all, everything in life is a game. And although I am a rookie in this game, I have no qualms to lock horns with those who are experienced and seasoned veterans.