When you decide to post something on Instagram or start your own YouTube channel or choose a non-conventional career option, what’s the first thing that crosses our mind? “Log kya kahenge?” (What will people say?).
India is a gold mine of stories that rose from the backdrop of “log kya kahenge” (What will people say?).
It is that one phrase that did no discrimination against age, gender, financial condition, etc, and has stuck around for decades. Whereas it is really easy for me to type and preach, the actual battle of learning how to survive amidst opinions and judgments, in reality, is a crude art - one such form of art that all of us need to inculcate, because this phrase is not leaving us anytime soon if we don’t work towards ending it, together.
Whereas most of us believe that this thought process is a part of our parents’ generation and that we are way ahead of judging anyone, the sad reality is, this generation suffers the most from the fear of “log kya kahenge”. The sadder reality is that we are judged just as much by people of our generation. We call it fear because it cripples us from doing the easiest thing in the world. We have experienced both, the maximum number of self-building podcasts and the maximum number of frustrated youths, in the same time frame. We have experienced half of our friend groups clueless about what they want to do, why they are doing what they are doing, just because the decision wasn’t made to satisfy themselves but to satisfy someone else.
Imagine the abundance of knowledge and happy experiences that we would have if people were allowed to do what they want to do without the burden of taking into consideration what other people have to say about this.
There have been moments in your life as well where you have taken a step back fearing what people will say.
And these fears decide everything for us, from our major decisions to our minor. It is important we get rid of this fear before it is too late and we realize that nothing is in our hands. There have been moments when you had the opportunity to pass your judgment and you didn’t refrain from doing so, right?
What most of us know is how to pass judgment, not all of us know how to do it in a constructive way and that is what we need to learn.
The day we acquire the power of sitting calmly and decide to listen to our true selves, will be the day when we can break the shackle of “log kya kahenge”. We definitely need our own space to experiment, make mistakes, and learn from them. We need fewer people judging us for these mistakes and more people to encourage us to move ahead and experiment more. But in the end, we don’t have any control over what people say or think, we don’t have the right to restrict someone’s freedom of thought. So what can we do? We can train ourselves to get rid of that need for validation or approval from anyone but ourselves. We can learn that the power of sharing opinions is a privilege and should only be used for constructive growth. If we don’t start it today, no one will.
Let’s together, beat the ‘Log Kya Kahenge’ Virus.
Written by - Rhitisha Ghosh
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