Bold – When I looked up the actual meaning of this word on Dictionary.com, I found the following definitions:
1. not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring
2. not hesitating to break the rules of propriety; forward; impudent
3. necessitating courage and daring; challenging: a bold adventure
4. beyond the usual limits of conventional thought or action; imaginative
5. striking or conspicuous to the eye; flashy; showy: a bold pattern
Now, how many of us can honestly claim to be bold? Case in point:
- How many of us would have stopped to tell that drunk guy on the road to move aside? Am pretty sure we’d be more worried about getting slammed by the drunkard!
- How many would have dared to complain against the cop or that government employee who expected us to grease his or her palms to get a ticket cleared or a file moved?
- Do we enjoy writing that “Donation” cheque to a school for a pre-kg admission?
- Ever stopped your maid’s husband from physically abusing her?
- Ever told someone off for using the cities walls, parks, pavements and public properties as an open toilet or a uber trash ground?
- How many suffer harassment at work or home and keep quite about it?
- Women, how many of you have stopped wearing a particular outfit just because some male in the family doesn’t want you to? How many of you have given up on your dream jobs or other small pleasures of life because someone else’s perception of what is right and wrong?
The list of things that we don’t do because we fear something or someone, sometimes at the cost of our own self-respect could go on for miles. This list start with sacrificing the most simplest things like a favorite food to turning deaf and blind from complicated issues in the society and country like corruption, terrorism and fundamentalist thoughts and practices! Most of us just turn away because it suits us to do so – as long as the issue does not bother us, we are happy to be on our away. What would happen even if stand up for or against something? Nothing ever changes so lets just continue to live our lives the way we live everyday; with absolutely no quality! It is this very mantra, the attitude of “sab kuch chalta hai” or “anything goes” that has led to India being in the limelight for all the wrong reasons.
Some time ago, I read an article that called India a wannabe first world country with third world problems! Definitely a point to argue. But can we?
We are a country swamped with hi-tech malls,boutiques,restaurants and coffee shops filled with designer clothes, lifestyle goods and gourmet food when a good chunk of the population lives below the poverty lines right outside these malls without decent clothes to wear or 3 square meals a day! We are a country of “sacred” institutions IIT’s, IIM’s, convent schools and colleges that many cannot gain admission into thanks to the reservation systems and whopping fees! In remote towns and cities many kids don’t go to schools because their parents cannot afford parting with a family member that can bring in some money to make ends meet or due to the fact that many towns and villages lack schools or the schools that are present don’t have teachers or are used for illegal purposes! We produce doctors who cannot diagonse something as simple as a viral fever without demanding for x-rays and scans of unrelated body parts properly while our civil engineers and architects are busy creating buildings and schools that disregard fire and land norms resulting in foundations that crumble! The drivers of our public transport system cannot be penalized for killing or maiming fellow drivers or pedestrians on the road while our ministers are usually the choice of thugs and murderers.
Well, time to change all that! It is about time that we stood up for what is right! Let us follow our hearts and BE BOLD and STAY REAL. Let us do what is right and what is possible in our little ways and take some inspiration from those before us who have made the impossible possible by following their hearts while staying real. For starters:
- Lets Vote!! Why not elect the IIM grad who gave up a high paying corporate job, to serve the common man? We would be closer to our dreams of enjoying decent roads and better waster management when compared to voting for the political party that waxes lofty ideals and makes promises that are easily broken.
- Stop trashing the roads and that empty plot next door with domestic waste! Let us try to educate and practice.
- Try following road rules and traffic signals. If all of us start doing this, everybody will have no choice but to follow
- Report that school, that harasses your kids because you couldn’t or wouldn’t “donate” or “gift”
- Respect our women – stop treating your mothers, wives and sisters as cooks, housekeepers and baby sitters and respect them for all the other things that they do. How about helping around the house? We do live in the 21st century and it makes nobody a less of a man to help out around the house!
- Women, please respect other women!! Ban those goddammed serials which seem to glorify horrors like the dowry and caste systems and treating people like garbage due to their social statuses
- Teach your kids the meaning of words like Excuse Me, Thank You and Please and make them practice the essence of those words in their lives
- Treat animals with respect. If we can do this, we will definitely treat other human beings with respect. If we can’t do much as individuals lets help out some awesome folks who already doing their bit
- Next time someone asks you for a bribe, so that, that ticket fails to make it into the system, be real and opt for the ticket rather than giving that cop some tax free income! This will be a great way to curb corruption – Easier said than done!! I know!
- Plant a tree. You don’t have the space?? Grow some plants!
- Avoiding excesses, wastage and recycle. A tough one, given the consumerism filled mindset of current day India. But we can try!
I am sure you can think for more REAL initiatives! If we think WE CAN, we can achieve the impossible!! Let’s start today and make India the beautiful country that she is supposed to be…..
Note: All the links to articles and sites in the post above, are initiatives and folks who have inspired me. I have not been paid by any organisation or any one to mention them here