Life was like an inflated tire with a nail always around during the initial days of a new batch in class 11. With top notch teachers and super intelligent classmates. I acted like I master physics like my classmates do. Deep inside, I knew that I didn’t know. I didn’t have the knowledge that our teacher delivered to them when I was in the other batch. I didn’t know the simple yet key concepts they did. But what stopped me from admitting this was the fact that I did not want to look stupid. I didn’t want to be labelled stupid, and being the only girl in the class made it mandatory for me to be smart, lest it should invite a lot more criticism.
I got my first results, and I realised that this was doing me no good. At that point, I just decided to be honest to myself, and to everyone else, without any reflections on why and how it would help. I remember being mocked at. I remember how I read ‘girls should learn home science, not physics and maths’ written on the white board with a blue marker to welcome me in the morning once. I remember how my name on the first page of my notebook was scratched and how they wrote ‘mental illness’ below it once. My classmates were good, but you know, there are always a few , I better not continue these ‘I remembers’, because I simply ignored all of it. I honestly clarified all that I didn’t understand in class and I progressed. And yeah, there were reasons to smile soon!
Thinking of the days now, I really have a lot to say. None of us are born with all the knowledge. None of us can acquire all the knowledge as well, we are humans and we have our limitations.
Why do you think people are expected to study for competitive exams? In my opinion, it is because none of us are capable. None of us. Education makes us capable. The process of preparation, not just studies, the pressure, targets, mocktests, all of it make us capable. Maybe we aren’t capable today, but I’m sure our capabilities today don’t decide our capabilities tomorrow. We can enhance our capabilities and that is precisely what learning does.
There is no shame in admitting that you do not know something. When you do not know something, you are not being stupid. If someone chooses to judge you, mock you, due to the fact that ‘you don’t know’, please know, please know that it is perhaps an arrow shot without knowledge of archery, some other hard feelings or intentions or just a little limited knowledge, perhaps they don’t know what you are reading yet.
And now coming to honestly; honestly is not just a virtue to build powerful relationships with others, being honest makes you comfortable in your own skin. It makes you feel confident. Unless you and I have meaningful relationships with ourselves, we can do no good to the people around. Being real makes us comfortable with ourselves, and thus with the people around. Life is a lot easier if you choose to support yourself and do not succumb to circumstances.
Lots of love to all of you and a virtual hug to celebrate the process of growth, the acquisition of knowledge, a process that starts in the womb and ends in the grave.