Things Girls Need to Do Differently

Take More Risks – Girls are generally prone to play it safe when it comes to their own needs, perhaps because they have been taught to argue sparingly and maintain a comely attitude. In addition, since they’re conditioned to think with restrictions and indirectly made to feel inferior, self doubt lingers in most girls‘ minds.

Doubting and belittling your goals so that you don’t come across as demanding, aggressive or impulsive is idiotic. It is even more idiotic to think not taking a risk and being a good person are the same thing. It’s important to look at the Reward-to-Risk ratio when one is contemplating doing something but, not doing anything is just plain cowardly.

Stick to Your Guns: From the time they prancing around in their pretty pink pinafores picking pansies and periwinkles to braid into their pretty blonde braids, girls are chided for ‘unpleasant’ behavior like making noise or being unkempt. Once an adolescent, parents have earlier curfews for them and tend to keep a stricter eye on the teenage girl. In most cases, girls tend to stick to the rules and pride themselves on being prim and proper or ‘good girls’.

But, in the workplace or in major decisions in life, these very parent-controlled limits tend to puncture holes in girls’ confidence and their analytic ability thus, making it hard for them to persist once they’ve decided on something. Girls need to believe in themselves a little more and learn to care a little less about things that are minuscule in the larger picture. Today, it is stupid to expect a girl to be a doormat. Also, please don’t be afraid of being disliked if it’s in lieu of something you’re passionate about and which will bring obvious value to your life. Sometimes, you gotta hold on.

Avoid Being the Damsel in Distress: There’s no Prince Charming on a ‘Tide’ white steed coming to rescue you. There’s no need to behave like a delicate darling and run to someone when anything remotely challenging comes your way. It’s cheap, parasitic and irritating, to say the least. Get a hold of yourself, be your own damn savior.

Virtue, Thy Name is Undervalued

Everyone everywhere complains about disintegrating society, the erosion of culture, customs and religion and the gaps between youth and everyone else. However, as pertinent as one finds the aforementioned issues, there seem to be deeper problems one needs to look at. Most of us have witnessed people cutting queues, seen a ‘hit and run’, vehicles speeding and not following traffic signals, the list is endless. Heck, most of us have indulged in one or more of the same!

The fact of the matter is that today virtues are largely forgotten, even mocked by most. Here are a couple of fast disappearing mannerisms, soon to become characteristics of the days of yore that are rarely practiced, seldom valued but, largely (and incorrectly) projected by most in society :-

Being Polite: Rarely do people bother to thank servers, cleaners and housekeepers. Scantly does one see a lady get up and offer her seat in a crowded public transport vehicle to a frail old man. Hardly do you see a young man let an old lady go ahead of him in a bank queue because he’s in a hurry to get his cheque cleared and go clubbing to celebrate his payday. Politeness is hugely undervalued, rarely encouraged and the polite are seldom respected and given the same treatment. More often than not, most polite folk are taken advantage of, mocked for being gracious and often considered easy targets for bullying.

The Polite, Kind and Humble Tree Shades the Weary Traveler

Kindness: A grossly under-rated virtue, kindness seems to be on it’s way to oblivion. Very few people are able to identify kindness, let alone appreciate or practice it. Most students think the ones who offer to carry something heavy for a professor must be doing it to butter them up. (The sad part is, most of them are.)

Gratitude: Few people are grateful (fewer can spell it right), more and more people are accustomed to privileges and think it is their right nay, their birthright, to have access to amenities like food (pizzas and such stuff), education (private colleges with dubious accreditation), transport (customized Hummers) and relaxation time (vacations to places which are ‘Facebook album’-worthy). However, a handful actually thank their parents, God, teachers or anyone with heart for giving them the opportunities they have. Perfunctory acts of gratitude such as the annual New Year card, Thank You note or hug are found aplenty but, real gratitude is hard to find today and, sadly is going the dodo-way. In fact, instead of feeling gratitude, most people feel obliged to help someone who has aided them in something at some point in life. Some don’t feel that either.

Humility: ‘If you have it, flaunt it’ seems to be the mantra today. One-upmanship rears it’s ugly head in even the simplest of things and keeping up with the Joneses is a matter of principle in most societies. Everyone is trying to make it obvious that s/he travels first class, dines at the best places with the creme-de-la-creme of society and has more visa stamps than s/he cares to count. Name dropping, brand-toting and showing-off are the current norms. Also, sometimes one wonders if people are trying to show themselves in better light or put each other down.

Knowledge and Learning Take a Backseat to Achievement and Winning

Knowledge: Perhaps the saddest case of all, knowledge or learning is an extremely undervalued virtue today. Schools train to achieve rather than learn, parents coax the bewildered student to get into a top institute as opposed to following her/his field of passion and peers deem a dedicated classmate as a nerd and bully her/him to no end. Most students score well but, application-wise they’re somewhere near zero. Rote learning rules the roost today. The majority of school and college goers have no idea what they’re studying, why they’re studying what they’re studying but, they’re all running to outdo the other.

Wisdom: Not many care about what the wise woman/man has to say but, show them a cunning woman/man and look at them run to get her/his counsel. Sadly, wisdom is considered as outdated as the IBM PC. Experience and learning leading to wisdom resulting in holistic development is fast being replaced with acquiring and manipulating leading to profit, corruption, cunning and exploitation for singular gain.

Wisdom Looks On as Youth Barely Notices

It is time to take a good look at the mirror and see where we, as a global society are headed and give virtues the emphasis they deserve in our lives. A strong society is made of more than high-flying corporate honchos. A virtuous woman/man is truly the only thing that has ever saved society in times of dire consequences.

A world with those who hold scant value for values will be of little value. It’s time for society to pull up it’s socks and look at leading holistic, meaningful and fulfilling lives as opposed to comfortable yet, empty existances.

Audacious Glory

Chutzpah. That essential factor in creating something everlasting. Most would be quick to disagree and argue citing talent, hard work & fortitude as the keys to success. However, that is my point exactly. The degree of separation between success and everlasting glory is spelled out in these five letters – N.E.R.V.E.

All over the world are bright, sharp individuals leading lives of prosperity and oozing intellectualism (You may be one of them as well!). They are, without a doubt, classified as successful. But, here are the real questions – How many of these will go down in history? How many of these successful people will be remembered by those other than their close ones? How many of these intellectuals will create something that will earn them a place in the hallowed corridors of history alongside the likes of Napoleon Bonaparte, Jane Austen, George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi, Elvis Presley and other such ‘game changers’? How many of us will come as close to immortality as humanly possible?

In a society where the unique are oppressed to conform, it takes more than copious amounts of courage to express oneself truly and openly. This journey is not an easy one. Firstly, the constant discipline a child faces from parents, teachers, supervisors and peers as well makes one conform subconsciously in ways more than one. Peer pressure is a real and tangible force which molds kids from the time they can discern and anyone who appears different is either shunned, mocked and teased till s/he behaves appropriately. If the person resists, s/he is ridiculed and ostracized. Having a strong backbone, keeping it real and being true to oneself during these years and times is possibly the hardest thing to achieve. If I may say so, I myself am ridiculed and mocked for being my own person. I’m often referred to as crazy, stupid, irrational, a daydreamer, a person who thinks too much, a loner, among a slew of nicknames. As far as I can remember, I have always enjoyed the fruit of solitude. I find my thoughts and fantasies far more exhilarating and exhaustive than a million TV soaps and movies put together. My viewpoint on even the tiniest of issue has been known to be radically different, even obtuse. I would be happy to read and pen my thoughts on a plethora of affairs, if I had my way as of now. In all honesty, that is what I aim to do in the long run, anyway. That, however, is another blog post all together!

Once one is able to hold her/his ground with temerity, comes the part where this uniqueness is nurtured and it grows so as to provide the strength to be unleashed unabashedly to one and all. This comes through sheer honing of skill which must be achieved through rigorous practice and deep contemplation. In essence, it comes back to the base truth that if you believe in it, don’t let go, keep fighting, keep struggling, keep learning. Immensely talented people have given up because after a point they just breakdown and conform. Though they don’t conform due to peer pressure, they conform due to the dwindling belief in their own capabilities. Also, it takes endurance of a different kind to go on sans support, appreciation and at times, even basic amenities due to lack of funds.

Luxury is a cunning bitch; she woos you and comforts you into her trappings such that you start losing sight of your goals so as to inch closer to her lap. In my opinion, humble or not, anyone who has ever achieved anything or hopes to, must embrace a spartan way of life. This not only brings one closer to reality but, it also gives one the ability and time to ponder deeply. I do not say that those living comfortably are unable to grasp reality and exhaustively opine on issues but, somebody who has truly experienced the hard knocks of life will always be able to make better analogies than a mere observer can.

Finally, it takes brazenness to express yourself in front of the whole world every day, irrespective of the bouquets or brickbats hurled your way. Criticism can make or break a person – and I imply both kinds of criticisms here. Negative criticism can obviously affect a person and result in dampening one’s spirit thus, making one hesitant in the future. On the other hand, positive criticism can also have negative effects. It can inflate egos, make one extremely sensitive to negative criticism or, the worst (in my opinion) could happen – the person becomes lackadaisical in attitude and thus, begins the fall from glory. This type of laziness is often masked by arrogance and turning a blind eye to sore spots, which anyone with a keen eye would notice. A person of repute who falls into the quagmire of commonality after this attitude shall surely sink into a deep depression of self loathe, self pity and anger against the masses. However, if one harnesses any criticism constructively and believes in herself/himself, it will only propel her/him to greater heights which will eventually lead to an everlasting trail into the annals of history!

Ideas and people come and go. What stays is the legacy you leave behind. A legacy is, ironically also creaed by ideas and people. Where lies the difference?

It’s simple – at least in theory – really,

All it takes is nerve.

That’s it for now, folks!