He for She for He: It’s a cycle.

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(Make sure to check out the speech before reading!)

As a Harry Potter fan, I don’t think I need to exaggerate how much I love Emma Watson. Let’s just say her Hermione days have forever been marked at the back of my head.

I loved the recent speech she delivered for #HeForShe. It really woke me up, because all the things that she spoke about were the things that I knew and believed in but kept quiet about. A lot of people around me had convinced me that there is no such thing as feminism, that it’s just a mere tag for women ‘who hate the opposite sex’.

Me and my friends often talk about it and sadly most of them aren’t interested in getting to know the real meaning of it, and why it’s important in today’s world where everything is changing. And despite this age being so far ahead of the times earlier, we still have to struggle for something as basic as gender equality.

That fact aside, there’s quiet a few things I liked about Emma Watson’s UN speech.

“My recent research has shown me that ‘feminism’ has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists … Why has the word become such an unpopular one?”

From this point on she explains what feminism really means, what it stands for. How it’s not so much about the word but the idea. The word feminism has endless misconceptions. Girls calling themselves feminists should know it’s not about proving the other gender weaker. Feminism isn’t just a woman’s issue. It’s a man’s issue too.

“I’ve seen young men suffering from illness, unable to ask for help for fear it will make them less of a man … I’ve seen men fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either. We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are.”

This is the point that really sold me to the speech. No one, no one has ever talked about this aspect (as per what I know). Not just women, men too suffer gender inequality and it is too often ignored.
The truth is gender equality isn’t a state we’re going to reach in a day. A speech from a young female is not going to bring sudden change. Like the abatement of every other social error, gender equality too needs people to be aware. They need to be aware of their own actions. Anything you do is not going to make less of a male or more of a male.

In fact, which society doesn’t appreciate a man who respects all the genders? Who is aware of his cause? Who is aware of things happening around him? Who is aware of his power?

What we really need people to understand is that ‘feminism’ doesn’t mean that females are going to take over the world (which we can). It means we get equal opportunities to take over the world. It also (basically) means that when men have problems they should come clean. If men want to wear pink they should.

There’s endless ways to go about it, but in the end, we all know what this world needs. And I think we all know what we should do personally to get us one step closer. So do it. Do what you think will make you an accepting, respecting and appreciative citizen. It’s time to prove why we’re better than the past generations, everyone.

Although the excellent speech Emma Watson delivered was touching and really got people’s attention; to some extent, that’s all it will do. Grab people’s attention for a week or two. They’ll promise for the worth while that yes, they in fact do believe in #HeForShe. But over the long haul, the actual cause will be forgotten.

It’s cool to pose for a picture with a paper in your hand saying ‘#HeForShe’ and then add a caption saying you support it. Makes you feel like a part of something, doesn’t it? But take a step back and think is the hash-tag more important or your actions?

(Not saying don’t post a picture, by all means: Do, do, do! Please do!)

What is #HeForShe?

“HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other of humanity, for the entirety of humanity.”

See, it’s not just about the picture, kids. It’s about everything but the picture. You thinking, your ideas, your actions.

Finally, the tainted thing about this whole probable future revolutionary movement is that since the speech was made by Emma Watson, it’s going to gather attention and reputation. It has already, in fact. But why is it that only when a famous persona like Emma decides to talk about it on this particular occasion that we think of all these things? Even when we encounter this disparity every single day?

Why did we notice it when Beyoncé made a song about it? Why did we notice it when Maya Angelou passed away? And why did we forget it after a few weeks?

I’m happy feminism is in the spotlight again, but I hope it stays there for a while. And I hope it brings change and that we don’t need help from another mainstream artist to remind us of a cause we face everyday.

“Ask yourself:
If not me, who?
If not now, when?”

Some amazing people supporting #HeForShe:

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Dauntlessness in Kindness

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Think about it. A life with all the luxuries you can ever ask for. Big car, big house, big business, big name. Big heart? Mmm…I’m not so sure. I bet you’ll go for a life like that, without thinking. Because who doesn’t want to be rich, or famous? You’ll have money, power, everything, but no qualities. No feelings, or politeness, no hatred, no pride. Nothing. Just material. No abstract. Just think; would you still want it?

Now think of a life, without money. Not completely without money, but a life where money is secondary. Where all the things you hold vanity on; are the last things that come to your mind. First comes being a human. First comes kindness. First comes help, first comes love, and first comes selflessness. You’re not a complete do-gooder, you still dislike someone or something, and you still have insecurities and prejudices. But you feel. You feel and you understand others. It’s not like that’s all you do, but it is the most important. You focus on keeping everyone happy. You give everyone the love and respect they deserve, and then, at the end of it all, you think of yourself, and then your possessions.

These two life scenarios are complete opposites, I agree. But think, what would you prefer? None? Both? Somewhere in between?

So let’s start with why this thought struck my mind. I was taking a walk with my friend the other day. It was late in the evening, and we were on the main road. It was drizzling. We were close to our house, and enjoying the rain and the fresh air that came along with it. We were giggling, and joking randomly about what we did that day. Suddenly, an auto- rickshaw passed us. The driver stopped the auto, and asked us if we needed a ride. We told him we didn’t. He smiled at us, and resumed driving, and we resumed walking.

I and my friend spoke of how polite the rickshaw-driver was, and then there was silence. It had been a while since someone had offered help to the either of us, and even though there was silence, I knew what we both were thinking about. Suddenly, she spoke up, “Politeness is so easily misinterpreted as a sin these days. Nobody wants to help.” I smiled at her words, admiring and understanding them. The rest of the walk home, we remained quiet. Her statement lingering somewhere in the air around me, making me wonder, why?

She was right. Some people are so self indulgent these days, that they do not think about others, or help them, or even take them seriously. But again, like a coin has two sides, there are other people who help, and are kind, and who consider other’s opinions. But what I’ve seen lately, is that they’ve been overwhelmed by the arrogant ones. I know it’s a vague statement, and yes, it isn’t true about everyone, but it’s a mere observation.

People have started feeling embarrassed, or guilty to help anyone. No one is going to put you in jail for  you supporting or saying the right thing. No one is going to slay you if you help an old man carry his bags, or hold the door of the elevator while somebody’s grandmother gets in. Why are you embarrassed?

Are you embarrassed by some senseless cowards, who think about no one, but themselves? Who are too cocky because of their status – even though, maybe, they don’t even have a status at all- and don’t want to look small by helping others? Is that making you feel small too?

Honestly, it’s completely the opposite. If you help someone, consider their opinion, give them the voice, and let them express their thoughts, or share with them, something that they don’t have, and you do, then it’s going to make you look big. Brave. Courageous. Not even close to small.

Some people are afraid of helping, but they want to show their qualities, and prove their capacity. According to me, if you want to prove to someone, what kind of person you are-may it be your parents, your new boss, an old teacher- start by acting good. Start by acting like a kindhearted person. Start valuing what can’t be valued.

Love, care, help, selflessness, a pat on the back, a reassuring smile, hopeful eyes, appreciating claps. These are the things that are more precious than any gifts you can ever offer to anyone.

You like being loved. You like being cared of. But, have you tried loving? Have you tried caring?

Once you learn to give, you’ll never want to take again. There lies more pleasure in providing, and getting to see a happy face, than being provided and seeing a caring face.

I am not saying drop everything you own, get out of your house, get rid of all your vanities, and start living with the homeless to help them. All I’m saying is that the foundation of a caring person, the foundation of a speckless personality, is in ordinary acts of goodness. Do you admire a person who carries a gun around with him, and bullies everyone on every turn? No.  You admire a true-heart, a true human, a good person. A rose in the middle of dry grass. A diamond in the rough.

Be that. Be the rose, be the diamond. Why frown, if you can smile, and have the same thing done faster? Why cry when you can laugh, and try harder?

Having pride is good, definitely good. But being so absorbed in it that you lose all your qualities, and the people around you, that’s foolishness.

You are not going to carry your huge millionaire property with you to heaven. Nor are you going to carry your Mercedes. You’re not going to be remembered because you owned a Rolex watch. You’ll be remembered for what you’ve done. For the brave acts you carried out, simply by offering a helping hand. You’ll be remembered for your million dollar heart, that not even a million dollars can ever buy.

Think about people who give relentlessly. People who fight for the country, putting their life at stake. Think about people who speak up their mind, because it is the right thing to do.

Nobody is small, nobody is big. We may dwell in different worlds, under different circumstances. But under God’s microscope, we’re all the same. Created alike, for thinking alike. But we’ve forgotten that. We’ve forgotten that because we value power more. We value materials more than feelings.

Doing the right things has a different braveness and power hidden in it. All you have to do is discover it.

Invest in people, rather than just investing in business. Your business will grow, and give the money earned to whomever that you’ve left it with, and benefit them. But your ideals, your righteous opinions, and your kindness will also be passed on. And that will not only benefit that particular person, but it can benefit a whole society, and city, a country. The whole world.

Everybody is a revolutionary. Everyone is brave. Everyone is a nice person, deep within, who they’ve tucked away because of the situation they’re in. Everyone is a rose, everyone is a diamond. But everyone is also afraid. Of something or the other.

There is nothing to be afraid of, as long as you’re doing the right thing.

Think about it. You could be the change. You could be the voice and inspiration of tomorrow. All you need is the drive. All you need; is to be a giver, not just a taker. All you need is to be dauntless, and find the dauntlessness in kindness.

Remember heart,

Remember unity.

Remember loving neighbors,

Without expecting favors.

Look at me, look at you,

Now look at me again,

See we’re not so different.

State of Trust

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“I’m walking fast through the traffic lights,
Busy streets and busy lives.
And all we know,
Is touch and go.”

-Taylor Swift

The beginning lines of “State of Grace” by Taylor Swift always get me. The intensity of these simple lines and the amount of sense they make gives me goosebumps sometimes. The entire song makes sense, but the opening lines; they’re one of the best lyrics ever.

The lines always make me wonder if that ho we’ve become. Selfish. Self indulgent. Is that how we are? We come, we see, we conquer, we use and then we let go. Is that how ‘life’ works now?

I’m too young to have a personal experience about this, but what I do have, is observation. People say that in today’s world, it is not safe to trust anyone. Even if this line is true, I can’t help but disagree.

The natural instinct of any person is to trust someone. It can’t be helped. Whenever we meet someone new, we observe and analyze. And based on that, we like or dislike them. We trust them or we don’t. But like I said, the natural instinct is to trust.

I am the kind of person who gets connected with everyone and everything emotionally in a matter of time. Trying to stop myself from loving and believing everyone I know is as good as asking a singer to stop singing. But not everyone is like me. I’ve been told I’m headstrong, but I don’t necessarily think so. I’ve seen people who are really headstrong and deal with life in a very practical and radical way.

How can you do something, and not involve your heart? If its an activity, you need your heart to function your body so that you can carry out the activity. Even then your heart is involved.

So the question is, how do you trust anyone? I think that to do anything in life, you need belief. If you do the anatomy of the word, you’ll see it has the word ‘lie’ in it.

So what is belief? Hope. Assumption that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and determination to shine in it. That is what belief is.

So what about when I said belief has the word ‘lie’ in it? Is believing something, lying to yourself?

Frankly, isn’t everything a ‘lie’ until it becomes reality?
Belief is to lure yourself to think well, to get good. People in today’s world need to have faith and belief that the person they’re dealing with is a good person. Someone who is worth they’re time and energy. What we get in return is ultimately what our subconscious and out heart expected.

No-one in this world is a rock. Everybody has needs, and everybody has a heart. Their way of approaching their needs may differ, but in the end, we all want one thing; happiness. And happiness is in togetherness. So trust people, but not blindly. Take help, not advantage.

Remember the times when doors were left open, when everyone was welcomed. When there was no filth and greediness, just faith and belief. Trust me, things aren’t that bad, but sometimes, our view is.

“This is the golden age of something good, and right and real.”

Memories, experiences, life, and all that funny business.

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Life has a funny way of going around. One second you’re happy, the second; you’re not. One second you know you want to do something, and the next second, you’re not so sure.
Life has confusion, boredom, happiness and sadness among many other emotions that make this ‘roller coaster’ concoction. And without equal amounts of all these, this concoction would not be complete.
I was sitting in my balcony the other day, wondering, what is it that makes me happy? I mean there are many things that make me happy. If my dad brings my favorite chocolates, I’m happy. If the teacher of my least favorite subject is absent, I’m happy. If my friends do something to protect our friendship, I’m happy. If I watch my favorite movie, I’m happy. When I listen to music, you know the drill, I’m happy.
But what are the other things that make me happy? I tried to revive memories when I was 6 or 7. What made me happy then? Maybe toys, candy, ice-cream? But that’s looking at it from a helicopter angle. That’s what we assume makes all kids happy. What made ‘me’, me happy as an individual? Honestly, even after trying for a long time, I couldn’t put my finger on it.
My observations told me, I mean it’s not very original, but for the first time, I understood it. Life is a mosaic. It’s made up of tiny bits and pieces of memories, which were extremely important at a certain amount of time. Irrespective of whether they were happy memories, or sad, they were important. All these memories and experiences joined together is our life.
So, think about how you look at a mosaic. You see the main picture. It maybe a cat, or a chair, could be anything. But you look at it, and you know what it is. The main subject. You don’t go looking at each piece of paper or each different stroke of color it’s made up of, because it’s not possible for you to.
The very same way, when you look back at life, you see the whole thing. The main subject. The subject can be satisfied, happy or anything like that. But you can’t remember every single detail. It’s not possible. Those memories as individuals are so tiny, compared to all of them put together.
But we remember all the big memories. The things we did that left a mark on our brain, or heart, or both. I mean things like buying a new pair of jeans will make you happy right now, but when you look back on life; you won’t even remember that pair of jeans which were once your whole life. I’m not saying these little things don’t matter. In fact, without them, life would make no sense.
But what I really think is that we only live life once. And we should make the most of it. I like to think of living life this way: “Make memories, make mistakes, and do adventures to entertain yourself when you’re big, and old.”
I don’t know how much of this makes sense, but to answer the question, “What makes me happy?” its watching a puppy chase a ball, it’s to watch birds fly in the sky, it’s to watch stars twinkle at night. My happiness is in spending happy times with my family and friends. It’s in to laugh till I cry. My happiness is in all the big things and small things. How much of this will I remember when I’m old, who knows? But I do not want to regret anything. Or say that “Oh, I could’ve done that. It’s a shame I didn’t.”
So ladies and gentlemen, don’t live life in a rat race. Live it.
Do things. Have regrets. Make mistakes.
They say you have a choice to live or exist, I definitely choose to live.