Who are these people forever watching our actions, attire, moves and thoughts – like a Big Brother?
Kumar says “Everyone thinks that I am a failure.” He is one of the bold and successful persons I have known. He quit a lucrative and successful job in software industry to pursue his dream of building his own software products. To support his ventures, he conducted corporate training, which became popular and give him very decent income. In his innovative quest, he has dabbled with various bright ideas in the field of software and outside. He has got a deep understanding of systems. I admire him.
Potential investors do not rush to the innovator overnight. It is usual that a person so passionate may not be welcomed with equal zeal by others in the industry, friends and family members. This upsets Kumar and he wonders why people do not understand the importance of his inventions and discoveries.
In some bouts of depressions, he tells me, “everyone thinks that I am a failure.”
I ask, “Is your wife one of them?”
“No! She has been most understanding and supportive. I could not have asked for a better life partner.”
“How about your parents?”
“Oh, they are very encouraging. They trust my capabilities and good intensions.”
“Am I part of everyone that considers you a failure?”
“No. Without your encouragement and guidance through these years I would not have the courage to do what I did. I am ever thankful for all your support.”
“OK. Let us list names of everyone who consider you a failure.”
“I cannot name any such person; but, everyone thinks that I am a failure.”
Such “everyone” is in our mind, stuck like a ghost. In reality, others do not think about us. They are busy thinking what others, including us, think about them. Do we lose sleep thinking about them?
Khushwant Singh once wrote in Illustrated Weekly: I asked an American, “what do you think about India?” The answer was, “I do not think about India.”
What will people think if the bride wears a saree with so thin brocade for border? We need something grand. How will this look in photographs and videos? What will elders comment on laxity on rituals? We do not mind, but what will the guests think? What will the relatives think? What will everyone think…
My nephew Manu does not like any brand name displayed on his always exquisite clothes . He knows that quality will speak for itself and what people think is less important. Certain shops in Commercial, Bangalore, sell labels of big brands
I bought an excellent shirt made in India from a store in the USA. People at home ridiculed me when I brought it home.
When people buy fake duplicate products, often they do so knowingly, hoping that the show of brand would draw attention. Hood star of Mercedes is often stolen and I am told that it has a specialised market. Who buys them? Not the owners of Mercedes cars.
We push ourselves and our children to meet the expectations of the world. Alas, that expectation is often our own imagination. We strive to solve imagined problems and waste energies. We try to please the world cheating on ourselves.
What counts is what we sincerely think about ourselves, not what others think.
If you are believer, be “God Loving” rather than “God Fearing.” Let us also be loving the society and people around rather than scared of their opinion and continuously seeking their approval. It is a burden on them to evaluate us constantly and on us to track and act on feedback.