Looking good or feeling good? Did the makdee (spider) get caught in its own web?
A national award-winning actress is arrested for prostitution and many editorials talk about how her family was going through hard times and thus she had to resort to this kind of work. Was that the real reason? Because if she had to support her family then there are jobs available like join a BPO, teach or work in a day care, give tuitions etc. the real reason was that she was holding on to a false goal of preserving her image, that of an actress and trying to live up to a certain style of living and dressing even though it was unaffordable. It was this false pride that brought her doom. This is where we need to focus on teaching young girls and boys the difference between feeling good and looking good.
Yesterday I was with some young girls and boys and one of them was being teased by the others about her weight (she is slightly plump, not obese). They ribbed her to get fit, go to the gym they said. I asked them to have a ‘staircase test’ to find out who is fit and who is fat. The slim and trim ones were huffing and puffing by the time they reached the 4th floor and the plump one was able to climb to the 5th floor without gasping and wheezing, so much for being slim!. The point is we are too obsessed with looks, image, style and brands and forget what are actually important- feelings, values, self-esteem, and self worth. We allow others to define what is important without thinking for ourselves and valuing what we have.
What others think about us is important and should be important but not at the cost of our pride, self esteem and self worth. This actress did not consider the consequences on her reputation when she took the decision to earn the fast and easy money. And by giving importance to the money and not how it is earned, she got caught in her own web.
To look good is now considered synonymous to being good, so the meaning of ‘good’ is lostin the ‘superficialness’ of looking better, thinner, fairer etc., but is that what makes us good? Its time to safeguard our young boys and girls from getting caught in the web of image conscious v/s intelligent conscience. If children grow up seeing adults (be it teachers or parents) only valuing ‘superficialness’ then it will have a detrimental effect on the choices they make in their life, career and even in choosing their life partner. They will learn to make important decisions based on external impressions and not on lasting bonds or emotions.
It is also important to nurture resilience in our youth so that when faced with adversity and problems they do not take incorrect decisions or break down or get caught in the web of problems. We need to ensure that our youth do not face the same fate as ‘makdee’ and to do that we need to make them strong, independent, thinking and empowered individuals who know the difference between looking good and feeling good.