In this world that is constantly trying to make us believe in all the wrong, it’s very difficult to put our head up high and do what we actually feel is right.
But, if I am just following what everyone else is doing even though they are doing something wrong, then probably I am just a faceless body amongst these masses.
Every other person wants to feel accepted or is trying to fit-in either in their college, office or any other social gathering and I’m also one among them. But as a person, I will not compromise on my values and ethics just to appease somebody or for the fear of being left out. What is the point of being in a democracy and being privileged enough to have umpteen rights to express myself freely when all I do is be a sheep in the mob?
There’s one particular incident that I’d like to share, where a worker at our place had decided to get her daughter married right after her 12th. She wanted to study more and he was unwilling to do so. I stood by her and explained the worker that he should let her study. He wasn’t ready to listen. I had to literally threaten him saying I’ll approach the police if he doesn’t let her study. My parents also involved and supported me to help him understand this. Fortunately, he understood this though out of pressure but now his daughter is studying happily and fulfilling her dreams.
There was this other incident, it’s not something major but it’s important to get through these little situations too. So, during my undergraduate, there was a senior who was the head of our batch. There were some registrations going on in the college and there was a huge queue. My friend and I just cut through the line only to inquire about how long the process would take before we could utter anything, the head senior held my friend’s hand and pushed her away. That led to an injury on her hand. The teacher who was doing the registration had witnessed all of this but still did not choose to take any action and asked me to leave. I told her about the injury and how the senior ill-treated us, she ended the discussion by saying maybe it was because she is frustrated with work. It was not the first time that the senior had done something like this, she had indulged in a lot of unnecessary fights earlier too and as usual, they were ignored. If I wouldn’t do anything now, it would have continued forever. I approached the principal the very next day and made sure she realised her mistakes. I didn’t want her to be punished but she should at least realise her faults and not unnecessarily manhandle somebody.
It is not always easy to voice yourself and fight for what is right. There are situations when I doubt my own decisions when insecurities creep in and I become unsure of whether I am doing the right thing or not. In these moments, I think of the reasons I started fighting for it in the first place. At times I feel like everything might just fall apart and maybe I should stop doing what I am doing but I know if I don’t stand firmly by my own decision, no one will.
There’s this one quote I read somewhere that had hit me hard and gave me all the courage I hold today;
“Stand up to hypocrisy. If you don’t, the hypocrites will teach. Stand up to ignorance, because if you don’t, the ignorant will run free to spread ignorance like a disease. Stand up for truth. If you don’t, then there is no truth to your existence. If you don’t stand up for all that is right, then understand that you are part of the reason why there is so much wrong in the world.”
If you don’t, then who will?