“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Being liked and loved is great for all of us! We all crave for affection and really like to be liked. However, in life, sometime somewhere someone is going to hate you. And not just someone but many someones will hate you. Doesn’t matter who you are. If it hasn’t happened until now, just watch out!
Is it wrong? Not always, as I think. Just because people have not liked what you have said or done doesn’t mean you are wrong. Or you have to change who you are or what you believe in.
Imagine what the world would be like if we all walked all the time to be liked and live by our society’s predefined standards. Nobody would be trying anything new but just walking in a manner that the society accepts him or her and doesn’t hate them. Had this been the right way there would have been neither Galileo, nor Wright Brothers; neither Jesus nor Buddha; neither Steve Jobs nor Jack Ma – nobody – absolutely nobody – and hence, nothing!
We all are humans and need connection and affection to grow and do well in life. However, does that mean one should forget his or her own judgement? Does that mean one should always follow the crowd? Or never do anything just because society looks down at it?
Just yesterday I had an interaction with my dad where he was explaining to me the significance of society, and of following that society. But even he could not justify his words when I brought in to talk on the system of ‘sati’ or killing girl child systems that the society had once followed. And the moment you or anyone stands against it many haters would stand against him or her. And that is when his or her personal judgement and values would play a role.
It is good to be a nice person and go by the existing doctrines. However, we are also individuals and have our own identity that might not match those of societies. So we have to draw the line. Everyone has to draw the line – when he would listen to others and when not; when he would permit himself to go after his desire to be liked and when not and when he would break the shackles of rules and when not.
Someone has aptly said, “Courage is not the absence of fear but the judgement that something is more important than fear.” So even if you have some fear about the world around you, courage means you can walk on in spite of any such fear.
Many teachers, philosophers, entrepreneurs, or whatever the profession have stood for themselves to bring significant contribution towards the society, and the humanity as a whole. It was only when they chose to walk out and go against the society that they were able to do whatever they did. They had the courage to be hated. They took the liberty to think and reflect. They stopped to do things society and everyone was doing just because everyone was doing. They paused – to reason out with themselves – and so did things everyone appreciates today.
Nevertheless, it all started back then when they had gathered the ‘courage to be hated’, and kept walking their path even when the world ridiculed them and hated them. So if you, me or anybody wants to do anything, they have to first ask themselves if they have that courage or not.