The first obvious answer would be because I am, without a doubt, quite an awesome person. This isn't any observation, it is repeated-by-even-more-awesome-best-friends, who remind me of this fact all the time, especially when I get slightly put off by my
sadu college. But I'm as such not talking just about myself here. I mean every single person (who isn't really a criminal or a crook or a mean kid in an MBA college. Okay wait, we can ignore the last category because..... well, just forgive them and hope they get better). We do realize how every one of us is different, and not just DNA wise. There is nothing called a 'wrong' person, we just have ideal people or characteristics or behaviour we want to see and judge people against them. Apart from the fact that I don't understand the logic behind the 'ideal' stuff, (because who is to say what is ideal? There are just basic, moral, ethical norms to be followed. Anything over and above is purely individualistic) I also don't like how we are naturally attuned to striking someone off just because they don't seem to follow the herd category.
|See? The picture says it too!|
Pic source: Google j!
I'm not talking about weirdos. And this is actually a slightly demeaning word if you think about it. We just tend to use it for fun, I mean I call myself a weird girl - weirdly awesome, yes, but weird all the same - but by saying so we're saying they aren't 'normal'. How is 'normal' defined anyway? We live by the society and the majority thinking around us most of our young lives. We're small and we get influenced. We think and start believing in what we're conditioned to believe in. It is rare when someone starts questioning, thinking, wondering if what one's been told fits with one's own, individualistic thinking self. That is when you might realize that there is no 'ideal' as such. It's just the majority perception. Do you really feel that way too? Or are you scared to move beyond and over the generalized thought process, fearing you might be ridiculed too?
Alright, keeping weirdness aside, the basic point I wanted to make revolves around one strong characteristic I, and thousands of other people have: Introversion. I'm a very proud introvert. I love the fact that I don't have to openly display myself to the world just to feel good, that I don't speak words in a way that might be hurtful to someone, because that realization would just about make me feel bad about myself. I love the quiet way I get to live my life, the much-desired space and privacy I get, the way thoughts swoosh in at random and swirl and settle in my head, making me think of the many possibilities of how the world could be. I love how I can think over things properly and then make decisions, how I can sense a feeling without words, understand an expression without verbal conversations. I love how amazing people of the world are considered as introverts and how we have wonderful examples of awesomeness!
Did I always feel this way? No. Precisely because of how I've been constantly pushed, prodded (sometimes roughly) towards being 'more open'. I've been reminded ever since I was a kid that 'the world out there has no place for those who aren't outgoing', I got to participate in public speaking competitions (where by the way, I have performed well, but still), not out of will, but because people thought it'd do me good. This college has made me participate in thousands of group activities (when was the last time we had an individual assignment? I don't remember) and hundreds of presentations, and still I don't think I have become 'outgoing', as they'd been saying all this while. I sometimes feel incapable, precisely because people decided to overlook the soft skills and basic things like human character, for face value. I'm sorry. This whole process and mehnat has only made me feel bad and under-confident. As a kid, I used to be good at art and craft, reading and writing. I feel useless now since I can't draw a bird. I haven't read properly since months!
Since I don't expect anyone to change this world-wide perception, it is up to me how to deal with it, the first step being understanding myself and looking at myself as everything I am, without the 'being outgoing' benchmark. Realizing my capabilities, I need to find out more people who are more aware and mature and not as ignorant as most of us are. I came across this wonderful book (about which I've talked before in a previous post), Quiet by Susan Cain, which talks about the power of introverts in a world that explicitly favors extroverts. Wanting to listen to a nicey TED talk today, I came across this author's talk on the same subject. I have to say it's brimming with awesomeness! A few key points I liked listening to include:
1. Leaders like Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi, among many others, were introverts. What they did was because they didn't have a choice, even when they didn't feel like being the centre of such attention, because they were driven to do what they thought was right.
2. The most creative people, although they seem to be good with people, have a most serious streak of introversion in them. Solitude is an important ingredient of creativity. It matters, it is like the air they breathe.
3. If we look at the major religions, all the seekers were going off by themselves, in solitude, and found revelations. Those are what they brought back to the society.
4. Although there is zero correlation between being he most extroverted and having the best ideas, the groups tend to go with the extroverts' ideas.
5. Why do we make introverts feel guilty? Why has society always favored the man of action to the man of contemplation?
6. Social skills aren't unimportant, but the more freedom you give to introverts, the better ideas they'll get because they'd be in their comfort zone.
Food for thought? I feel there's still a long way to go. I'm just talking about myself here, and I know how I never liked my schooling (or college much) because I never felt 'in place'. I was doing things to 'keep up', to make myself more 'employable'. And in this process I have lost an invaluable part of myself and I utterly loathe this consequence. I'm happy though that there is talk about it, an effort to do away with this biased perception. My mom, a teacher for kindergarten kids, tells me how they do realize that every child is unique in their own self and they do let the quiet ones have their own space. They identify their talents and put them where they might be comfortable. At least for me, even such an effort is a relief, because I know how it must feel like when you're a kid constantly under a vigil eye, ready to pounce on you and prod you towards where you don't want to go.
So yeah, if you can't look beyond 'top' performers as being verbal, loud and 'in your face', that is your myopic view of the world. There are thousands of awesome people out there, who are far better than the rest when it comes to using their brains, or being creative and coming up with ideas. More so, they're more likely to be better perceiving, understanding and simply, awesome!
When was the last time I posted anything? Almost a month! And it is all because I was being made to engross myself in a thousand group activities, exams, people, blah blah nonsense. The biggest point-of-cribbing in my life right now is not being able to read as much. I mean, the last book I read was completely read in the metro, while traveling to and from college. And they say college's going to be even more hectic now. Dude? I seriously don't want to live this corporaty life. I'm only losing myself gradually! You can almost see how I have to try hard to hold on to stuff like this, like posting a random post on my blog! I have so many drafts pending, you can't imagine! This would have been in the drafts too, had I not seen this video and forced myself to think and work towards holding on to things that matter. And now I feel awesome :D
PS- My birthday was awesome! ('T was on 9th, thanks for the belated wishes. I'm graciously accepting them :P ) Thank you dear blog, because of whom I got to make amazing friends who are actually reasons that I feel confident about myself, and less sucky and with the ability to deal with most kinds of nonsense. I owe you my happiness! :D