Saturday, February 20, 2016

It is all in belief!

At times I think it's 'belief' that creates a mind - belief in oneself, belief in the other. Without belief we are nothing. Our relationships would turn fake without belief. Many times I wonder what's the belief that we invest in our women. Women are perceived to be sentimentally weak. They do the maximum, give birth, manage households, make maximum contributions to the economy and still they are perceived weak.

Weak is a very political concept because 'you are weak' is a message that can make you look outside (at the other around you) for strength. Weak is someone who needs to be externally managed, who holds no right of discretion over her life. When you start to look within for the source of strength, you become powerful. I'm not laying any theory of feminism here. Being an educator and a researcher on leadership and human competencies, I often wonder that to tell someone that he/she is weak is actually to do injustice. A powerful mind will fight back when you tell her, "You are weak and therefore deemed unfit for thinking for yourself." And this could apply to both a man and a woman. However the capacity to think for oneself, comes with a lot of responsibility. You need courage to think for yourself because that'll make you stand alone. The definition of right and wrong is not a contest that one fights with oneself, it's not a matter of a debate that one has to win by any means against the other. Right and wrong is a fundamental construct just like honesty and dishonesty is, just like violence and tolerance is, just like care and neglect is and just like compassion and contempt is. It's as much in thoughts, as much it's in actions and vice versa.

- Venus Upadhayaya
A former journalist currently works for Room to Read, India.

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