Saturday, August 07, 2021

In the world of cowards, courage is precious

Demonstrating courage is not that easy. In the hierarchical society, you can’t ask questions. On the pretext of respect, you can’t challenge seniors, elders, teachers, and parents. If you do that, you are tagged rebellious. Managers don’t like challenges. Politicians and bureaucrats don’t like challenging questions. This is a sad reality of life. Courage and curiosity is killed during school days itself. That’s why the majority of the section don’t take a stand. They are always on the fence because being courageous and curious brings additional personal stress. In the society which follows majority decisions, the person who is courageous has to pay the huge cost of being courageous and curious. Great scientists and philosophers had to sacrifice for the benefits of society. From Galileo to Socrates, almost everyone had to pay the price for being curious and courageous. 

However, once people understand the intentions and benefits of being curious and curious, they follow you. I was curious but was not courageous because of the culture in which we grow. I realized that being courageous has more benefits than not being courageous. It is possible that you may be penalized for being courageous, but if you get the right ecosystem, i.e.  mature managers, understanding peers, great teachers, guiding parents and elders, you grow fast if you are curious and courageous. Courageous doesn't mean you are arrogant, but you speak your mind, take strong decisions, and finally take accountability of your life and decisions you take. Courage is a life skill. 

Kathleen K. Reardon writes in HBR (Jan 2007), “In business, courageous action is really a special kind of calculated risk taking. People who become good leaders have a greater than average willingness to make bold moves, but they strengthen their chances of success—and avoid career suicide—through careful deliberation and preparation.”

Of course, courage is not a heroic or brave act to show extraordinary capabilities or confronting the negativity with the egoistic reactions. It refers to the ability and willingness to confront fear, uncertainty, intimidation, or difficulty in life by having in-depth knowledge of one’s belief, liberation, and insight. Courage means asking logical reasons for doing something, assessing the beliefs, behaviours, practices, customs etc and challenging for a right cause. Courage is also speaking up and it is expected that respondents should respect the opinion and views of other people. 

I always encourage and ask my team to be courageous while performing their duties. 

Recently, my son, Atharva, who is in 12th, was given an assignment of English subject during mid-term. There were few topics, on which students had to write their opinion. This was an internal assignment. In view of the pandemic, we all know that their final exams are cancelled, and assessment is done on internal marks. Atharva choose one topic, “Student’s Life” 

He writes,

“Student’s life is considered as a person’s golden part of life. This phase forms the foundation and basis of a person's career and entire life. If a student has the ability and dedication, he or she will be able to become successful in the long-term career and life. This phase plays a major role in developing one’s thought process, ideology, and morality. 

Student’s life is not only about studies and examinations, but it is about acquiring real Knowledge. During this stage, a person is supposed to acquire knowledge to become more aware of the outer as well as inner worlds.

We all remember our school days because those days were the best and they gave us the best memories. We all remember all those happy days. But a student’s life is full of hardship and struggles. In India, education is now an industry. Each educational institution claims to be the best. I mean, take a look at my school; they claim to be the topmost school in the city, but they can’t even respond to emails or co-operate with students. Students’ lives have changed drastically over the last year thanks to the global pandemic. We were able to concentrate more on our studies but there was no human interaction, and the situation was a bit depressing. 

So, back to the student's life, a student's life is the best part of one’s life but being a student is being helpless. It is easy to be disappointed, but life is about preparing for disappointments.

In short, the life of a student is about discipline and hardship; hard woe punctuated by moments of fun and ecstasy.”       

Before submitting this, he showed this to me. We were aware that the comments about the school would not be taken positively, and it exactly happened. It was a hard and courageous decision during such a crucial period where the students’ marks are determined on internal assessment given by the school.  Speaking the mind about the student’s life, specifically comments on the school were taken otherwise by the teacher. The internal marks are compromised by speaking the truth.

But he is happy, I am happy. I am sure, allowing him to speak up his mind will help him in his future career. I am proud.     

If you want to make a difference in your life, always be curious and courageous. Don’t shy away from speaking up and asking questions. 

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organizations, current or past) 

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga 


YogeshHukame said...


Mugdha Kowale said...

For this one time, I opened the image and read it before the blog. I never miss an opportunity to read blog by Vinod Bidwaik sir and here what caught my eye was the beautiful handwriting this young chap has!! It says a lot about your wonderful persona and a golden soul Atharva...never shy away from saying what you feel , you have a great mentor as father. Sky is your limit!!!

Lalita Vasu said...

Wow! Compliments to Atharva. It is a very important lesson in life and great to see that parents are supportive. I wish many more children are inspired by his note.

Vaishali said...

Liked Atharva’s audacious thoughts , kudos to him!

Vaishali said...

I liked Atharva’s audacious thoughts, he has spoken his heart and mind, kudos to him !

Vaishali said...

I liked Atharva’s audacious thoughts, he has spoken his heart and mind, kudos to him !

Unknown said...

Great lesson for being Human

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