I will start by asking something which a famous life coach, Sana Dabbas once said,
“And if I ask you to name all the things you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?”
Ever since my childhood, I have been compared to many kids around me. I am sure, many of you must have also been! We all have had moments in our lives where we have underestimated ourselves looking at someone’s success or victory. We all have had days where we have guilt-tripped ourselves for not being able to achieve something out of the box to make our parents proud, or for not achieving something despite giving it our full potential.
Comparing ourselves with others, we often forget to compare ourselves with who we were yesterday. It took me a while to understand that even I have some traits, which are distinctive from the people, who I once compared my abilities with. I do not necessarily have to be the best in all aspects. And that my hard work has made me better than who I was yesterday.
This write up is dedicated to my mother. The other day while we were having a general conversation, my mother narrated me of an instance of her with her friends, where they were to tell something unique about themselves. Upon being asked her specialty, she said “Nothing Special”! That phrase stuck on my mind hard.
I thought, is that what she thinks of herself? How can a lady who achieved her master’s degree and stood first in the entire university and the one who single-handedly handles all the pain of the house, say such a thing? Just because she is not working anymore, she gave her abilities a chance to be questioned? Here, I am not going to tell you how great my mother is. But Dear Mom, if you are reading this, I want to tell you that you are special!
Just like her, many people think of themselves as mundane individuals. It is completely not their fault. In India, we live in a society, where people generalize and look at individuals based on their race, caste, work experience, and many other such factors.
Everyone has a different story, everyone has different struggles, everyone brings different qualities and values on the table, hence everyone is special. From the rag pickers to the watchman of your building, from an engineer to a doctor, from an artist to a dancer and a solider, everyone has their interdependent role to play in the society which itself is enough to make them unique.
Not everyone is as courageous as rag pickers to pick up someone else’s dirt. Not everyone is as human as doctors to fight for others, not thinking about themselves in pandemic as risky as COVID’19. Not everyone has all their time to give to poor people or people with disabilities as social workers in our society.
Your success is not the only parameter to make you stand out, rather your handwork and your little acts of being human can be. Your success may be one of the parameters that may make you acceptable to the society, but your kindness, your talents as small as cooking food for the entire family, signing or painting makes you unique in your way.
Self-acceptance is vital for the people irrespective of color, caste, or religion they follow. Society will say things only till the time you hear it. The day you give your self-respect a chance to take a front foot, you’ll stop hearing what society say and nothing else will matter. No one has the right to question your self-respect since they don’t know your story.
No one, more than you, yourself are well aware of your qualities, your weakness, and your specialties. What should matter to you is the self-satisfaction, irrespective of how much you earn or what you do. The day you’ll stop living for the society, will be the day you’ll realize your self-worth.
You are not here to prove a point to someone. You are here for yourself and for the people who love you. You are important. You have an individuality. You are special!