Arranged Marriage vs. Love Marriage? According to the Biology

Your parents believe that they can find the best girl/guy for you. You might agree and let them select your partner. Or you might think how can we let them take this important decision. So-called religious scholars add fuel to the fire and further tense up the situation. If you are a girl, you might have to think about the so-called honor of your parents. Let us see what biology has to say about arranged marriage vs. love marriage and hopefully help you decide what is the best option for you, arrange or love.

Humans, like other animals, have two basic needs that are coded very strongly in our DNA. We want to survive and reproduce. Attraction to the opposite sex, which ultimately leads to love, is a way of nature telling us that this partner is a healthy mate and can produce healthier kids. We want our kids to have the best chance of survival, live a longer and healthier life.

Does it ever happen with you that you met someone so beautiful and the best person ever, but your friends/family are like what? This person is so ugly. Turns out that beauty does not just lie in the eyes of the beholder but also in the DNA of the beholder. Only some people have the best genes that would produce the healthiest kids when combined with your genes. That is why parents can never see what you can see.

One might ask why evolution did not finish the arranged marriage If it is so bad for our descendants? Probably because in poor and developing countries, the financial situation of a mate is more important than the genetic situation. Being financially sound means that one can afford more kids and provide better opportunities to them that ultimately helps evolution.

So, according to science, you should be the one deciding whom to marry. However, you should also think like your parents and consider beauty and other traits like financial independence, education, manners, behavior, etc.

No Scholarship For You? Freelancing Can Save Your future

Regardless of which political party you support, we can agree on one thing: Pakistan’s economy is deteriorating. Last year our GDP growth was -0.6%, whereas population growth was 2%. This means that Pakistan needs at least 2% of GDP growth per year just to maintain your living standards. As there are fewer and fewer jobs, we try to get scholarships and dream to move abroad.

With more awareness about scholarships came more competition. There are only limited scholarships, and the number of Pakistani graduates is booming. Statistically, most of us will not get a foreign scholarship and will have to live in our country. However, failure should not discourage us and we can find alternatives to living a better life. One of the best alternatives is freelancing. Sitting in a village of Baluchistan, you can work with an American company and get paid in US dollars. You only need an internet connection and a computer.

Two types of people contacted me after my last blog about freelancing. The first category does not like to do anything except sending messages. Their messages were something like this. “I am blablabla. I have a degree in blablabla. I am poor. How can I earn money”. This type of people will never work when they know that everything is one google away. The other type of people were the ones who asked specific questions like “After several times trying, I could not get a job, what could be the problem?” I tried my best to find the problem they were facing. The biggest problems that I identified in the people who want to earn money online were three; 1) no tangible skills or lack of awareness of their skills. 2) Low-quality applications/work. 3) No persistence.

Skill is the ability to do something well. Most of the students have no idea about their skills. Not that they don’t have any skill, but they don’t know what are the things that they can do. They can speak Urdu so it is a skill. They could be good communicators. They could be good at playing games or MS office or English. All of these skills can be used to earn big cash on freelancing platforms. Ask your close friends or colleagues if you don’t know what you can do well. You can also put yourself in a situation and imagine what is very easy for you to do and maybe you enjoy doing it.

Quality of applications is the second biggest hurdle to succeed online. If you are not getting any job, you are not putting enough work into it. Just wishing to become a millionaire will not make you a millionaire unless you put in the hard work required to do the job, earn money and continue doing it. On freelancing, good quality is always incentivized. Doing a freelancing job, I over-delivered my work. I got five star reviews  from the client and a bonus. Her review is helping me get more work online and by doing better work and getting more positive reviews, my profile is getting better and better.

Freelancing will not make you an overnight success. It would help if you had persistence. You might need to work hard to know what you are doing wrong and make it right for months. Watch Youtube videos, read blogs, understand the ecosystem of freelancing. The first job is particularly hard to get. Most of the people are not persistent so they quit. However, if you can resist giving up, you would ultimately land a job after one-month approx. Congratulations, you got your first job but remember the work is not finished yet. Now over-deliver your job. Do more than what is expected from you and win the client’s heart. Not only will you get 5-stars but maybe a long-term or a bigger project from the client.

My Experience With Freelancing: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It Too

Some months ago, I submitted my Ph.D. thesis. My scholarship was finished and I did not have enough money to survive in Europe. Even after doing my bachelor’s (exchange), master’s and Ph.D. under fully-funded scholarships in Europe, I was unemployed. It reminded me of my time in Pakistan when I just finished my bachelor’s and wanted to find a job. With all the skills and good profile, I could not find any job. Like many other students, I knew that I had some invaluable skills gained by studying and living in different countries, working with so many different people, but I had no idea how to market them. There was no way to connect with people who needed my skills and are willing to pay for my work.

In Pakistan, it is particularly harder for talented and hardworking people to cash their skills. In fact, there is no relationship between your skills and your salary due to no meritocracy and sifarish culture. Many of us decide to come abroad for scholarships, but all the scholarships will eventually finish. The practical life is not as easy as getting a scholarship, not to mention the time you need to defend your Ph.D., get a work permit, meanwhile, have no money to survive.

Freelancing is like an online mandi of skills. If I need to finish some work and do not have time/resources/skills to do it, I can go to freelancing platforms and get it done. Of course, I will have to pay the person who does the job. Thanks to the flexibility it offers, more and more companies are moving online. If you need to develop a website, why go to a software house when you can get it done online at a lesser cost.

For students and other skilled people, it offers a way to cash skills. You can go to one of the freelancing platforms, navigate through the jobs available and see if you can do something. The better work you do, the better reviews you get and it brings more customers. The cycle continues.

You might be thinking, “What will I do online?” It is a reasonable question and I thought the same. I have a background in agriculture and shifted to molecular biology during Ph.D. but I did most of the work with my hands, in the laboratory. I thought freelancing makes sense for developers, graphic designers, etc., but there is nothing for me. I was wrong and yes, you are wrong too. You have many skills that you don’t even know. Do you know the MS office? There are jobs for you. Do you speak English? There are jobs for you. If you are reading this, chances are you like reading and could write better than thousands of others who did not bother to continue reading. By writing an article like this, you can earn somewhere between 10-100$.

Is freelancing a piece of cake? Definitely no. In my first month, I did not get any job. Most people would quit in their first month, thinking they are not good enough. Others will survive because they will think about what they are doing wrong. They will work on themselves and finally land a job. The hardest is to find the first job. After reading about freelancing and watching several Youtube videos, I finally landed my first job of 13$. Yes, only 13$. In Italy, where I live, one meal costs more than 13$. Nevertheless, I gave my best and delivered the work on time. The client was so happy and satisfied with my work and offered me a big contract of 600$+. Earning some hundred dollars in the first couple of months did not change my life but knowing that I can be anywhere in the world and earn money is a feeling that I cannot explain to you. All you need is a computer and internet connection to experience it yourself.