We may be fighting the war alone, but we have to remember that we are not the only one fighting the war.
In the world we live in, we cajole us into believing that everyone is unique in their actions. Actions result from circumstances that occur only to us & it can never really happen to someone else at the same time, in same combination & sequence. As a consequence, we tell ourselves that the outcome of our efforts cannot be compared with others who tried the same thing albeit in a different manner. On the contrary, we fail to realise that in the world we live in, as a result of globalization and uniformity, every social activity has already been done by someone else. So even if you tell that his life is different from yours, you can’t escape the fact that comparison is inevitable.
Take any example: preparation for exams, making a movie, Office work, relationship issues. In almost every one of these situations, due to the variation in absorbing the knowledge from the world, the approach can vary slightly; but only slightly, because, we all have been conditioned in the same environment and taught the same lessons; alas in different manners. So even though there is bound to be some deviation in the way we approach our life, due to the standardization of life lessons we are all basically different manifestation of the same entity. Therefore, if someone who had grown up in the same milieu, tells that the preparation for an entry exam can be completed in 3-4 months, you can also do it within the same time period, give or take few days. The deviation in time happens only to fill the gap in knowledge and alacrity that the benchmarked person had over you. But one has to remember that, that person maybe weak in something in which you have a better grasp.
With the illustrations mentioned above, it would seem I am taking only the generalised activities in the social milieu which warrants minimal creativity. But the comparison isn't merely among oranges and apples. It is among numerous variants of oranges and apples. Though separated by mutation & evolution, if we strip down the complexities that circumvent these genera & look at them in a holistic manner, they primarily are oranges. And so is tomato a fruit. The point I am trying to raise here is that no matter how unorthodox & out of the box one’s thinking & execution maybe, as long as we base our analysis on preexisting materials we can never proclaim to have done something new. It is not like we created a new world to see something new. Even if such a surreal event is to happen, as long as we reckon it with our existing knowledge we can’t claim it to be ours. Suppose humans were to see world through the brains of a lion things might look different.
But, if we keep on turning blind eyed over the fact that we are all the same people working on the same agenda, we will eventually become complacent over the outcome of our efforts. People like Selvaraghavan are the epitome of the case I am trying to put forth here. Overridden by the self-pride that they are doing something unique, they skip over the fact that they need to do it well. Granted, they might be pushing the frontiers in many aspects, but without the imbibition of existing achievements, the leap forward will end up only being a limping one.