Where do you live – in a world or in the world?

The question, in the first instance, and the option to answer the same, seem ridiculous at first sight – Is it not? Actually, it is not the case here. The answer for the obvious question is both “in a world” and “in the world”. The two phrases mentioned herein above, differentiated by an article, convey two different meanings and should not be construed to mean the same. Though teaching grammar is not the prime idea of this piece, you would appreciate that the usage of appropriate articles at appropriate place will change the whole context meaning of the sentence or phrase. Let me explain this aspect in this context, in unambiguous terms.

It is of course true that most of us live in two worlds – a world of our own and the world in which we live. We share this world, the material world with our fellow citizens across the globe and reap the benefits of this beautiful world in which we are a part. The natural bounty bestowed by Mother Nature to mankind is for everyone to live and enjoy. Depending upon the economic capability and one’s ability to explore the world at large to his or her requirement, one lives in the world, which is vast in size and shape, having abundant opportunities.

This is the world we inherited and where we live physically.

There is another world – a world of our own – the one that shaped our perceptions about the things around us, about the nature itself and about all things around us. The world as we see it is not the actual world as it is – it is the perception of the world in our eyes as we visualize it and perceive it to be. Let me try to explain it by means of an example. A person living in a remote village in a landlocked country, who did not get an opportunity to see or hear about a ship like Titanic, might consider the small boat ferrying people in the lake or a small river in and around his place as the only mode of water transport.

Depending upon the external environment and the atmosphere under which we grow up, we develop some perceptions and notions about the world, and presume them to be only so across the world. Though living in a vast world, each one of us considers to be a master in his or her own world, and live happily in that small world – a world of our own.

It is again this world of ours that determines where we want to go and what we want to achieve in your life worthy of being spoken of even after we depart from this world. While living in our own world, one should be flexible enough to learn, accept and adapt to things that are otherwise considered alien up to now. Be inquisitive, enquire and filled with thirst to learn and explore new things with open mind, which will, ultimately pave for success in life.