Lessons Learnt

Since I was a little girl, I have always enjoyed holding the reigns. I like being able to dictate how things were to be done and controlling the outcomes. It all started from my appointment as the head of the class during my first year in primary school. Being able to wear the badge that says, “Monitress” made me feel special- it was my shield of authority over my friends- writing their names whenever they talked in class;  putting a finger over my lips and throw peers a deathly stare because the teacher said we needed to be silent, and I saw it as my responsibility to see it through; always the one to help my teachers carry items into the staff room; seen as a model pupil and I was even (come to think of this, it’s so ridiculous) awarded the model pupil prize for three years in a row.

All six years in primary school, I was the head for every single year, and it seems that years after I left that institution, the badge of honor and responsibility carried with me.

Well, but in a real world scenario, one that is much less protected and respected, this control might be too much to bear. I see it as my responsibility to do so many things that sometimes it drives me over the edge. It’s like what Adam Levine sings in Goodnight Goodnight, “I cannot carry the weight of the heavy world.” Unlike in primary school, where I can throw of the slightest snide and assure myself that it is right and good, I can no longer do that now. Because the world is no longer dichotomous- it’s one whole huge patch of grey that one has to navigate through. Choose poorly and you step on a land mine that explodes in your face and you instantly regret the choice. And well we can’t forget the challenge to seem democratic too- to listen to what people have to say, and choose the words that you utter lest you seem like some diabolic evil woman trying to take over the world with your own ways and break some fragile little hearts even the whole suggestion is outrightly stupid and completely illogical.

But today, as I once again find myself in various leadership position, I realize that the hardest thing is the fact that people don’t try.

Remember Forty Days of E-mails? Everyday I get to ask J a question. Once, I asked him, “What would you do if you had a team that was the black horse?” He said that he would talk to them and tell them it’s either you put in your everything and train your ass off or just pack up and go home. And I thought to myself, “Yeah. I totally would do that if we were in a movie.” 

The truth is, whatever we see in Coach Carter or Facing the Giants- doesn’t happen in reality. And that is because everybody’s selfish. They see what they want and what they like. And I technically can’t do that because I had to beg people to join (if it wasn’t my responsibility I would honestly never had stooped to that level, because what J said was true.) and if they just don’t feel for it why would they even try? People just do the bare minimum. Going the extra mile just doesn’t seem so economically or even, logically smart. You get mocked at your stupidity for doing more that is required. But people just can’t see past the shallowness of superficial value. They see things for what is extrinsically worth, not what it means in the heart.

And that, is what is wrong with people these days.

It’s really not that they lost the ability to care- Rather, they choose not to care. Simply because, sometimes it’s just easier that way. You save yourself so much heartache, you get so much time to yourself, you don’t have to say goodbye. But as someone entrusted with the task of being in-charge, you cannot scrimp and save on your duties. It’s the responsibility that comes with the power, that makes it so hard. But it is only because it is this hard that you are able to rise above all.

So, as I think back to the time that I was that little girl, proudly pinning that badge on my uniform every morning, I am reminded of the person that I was brought up to be. Not my bossiness, of course, (but I’ve got to admit now that i was a littttttttle over the top) but my sense of responsibility. That means that regardless of how the whole world decides that I, nor the things that I stand for is worth fighting, I will keep going for as long as I can, or die trying.

Because that’s what life taught me.


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