|Holding on to your choices, respecting them and ensuring they don't sway by winds of 'self doubt' planted by others...that's tough.|
A Facebook post of a woman and her momentary self-doubt( I wonder why people don't respect SAHM?) which is all too natural gave way to a raging debate and fierce battle only to leave some with hurt feelings, scratched self-respect and bruised ego. Working mums defended their stand and Stay at home mums tried to save theirs. Did they forget that they are one and the same?
I was a part of it and I watched what transpired amongst 250 women when their status-quo was challenged.
This I guess is the new debate considering many of women have primarily been SAHM(Stay-at-Home-Mums). It’s now for the past two decades that the ‘working mums’ are also constituting a big part of the woman population and hence comes the divide, each mum being territorial in holding her front ensuring 'NOBODY CROSSES THE FENCE'.
But fences did get crossed and what was said is not as important what was not said.
Respond vs React- When people react, they become defensive. They feel uncomfortable with whatever is being said or done and react with our emotions. We don’t really think through and our defenses are alert. They feel the need to ‘give back’ and put the disequilibrium within them to rest. Response is all that which reaction is not. One thinks through, weighs, doesn’t take it personally and responds in an emotionally neutral way rather than from an emotion of ‘giving back’ as if he has been attacked.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT----Did we react or respond? Did the mums felt personally attacked and that triggered the reactions so strong and value laden?
It's different when people are face to face- Yes! It’s is. Virtual world has also ensured that we can ‘rant or chant’ as much as we can without bearing the responsibility of our words. When put in a face to face situation would we still have the heart and the courage to ‘rant’?
FOOD FOR THOUGHT- And what did we mums do? Would we have done the same had we been face to face?
Don't cross my fence- We are fine till the time the other person is outside our fence and we are safe inside. But it also does happen that fences do get crossed and that’s when people stand up to safeguard, defend and hold on to their frontiers with all that they have. Nothing wrong but is it possible to hold onto your fence without hitting at the other? - FOOD FOR THOUGHT.
Compare if you must but don't judge- And that is difficult. The rise of individualism and democracy coupled with revitalized freedom of speech and expression has ensured that everyone has their own ‘point of view’. Fair. What is unfair? - to judge and proclaim that my point of view is better than yours. It’s human to draw comparisons but insensitive to judge based on crumbs of information that we have. It’s unfair because we do not know the other person’s journey. Did we get too judgmental? FOOD FOR THOUGHT.
Courage and Ambition comes in different forms- So it was all about whose choice is more courageous and dazzles with ‘ambition’-to stay or to step out. What we forgot that courage and ambition comes in different forms and exhibited in variety of ways under different circumstances. A SAHM shows remarkable courage to give it all to take care of the family much the same way that a working mum shows exceptional courage in stepping out leaving behind children.
Did we go wrong in defining courage and ambition? Was it right to glorify one’s choice as more courageous and ambitious and the other one not. Isn’t it unfair? -FOOD FOR THOUGHT.
Empathy is difficult to come by and Empathetic concern even more Psychologist define empathy as “Empathy is the experience of understanding another person's condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling.”
Empathetic concern not only include empathizing, but also entails having a positive regard or a non-fleeting concern for the other person. When situations are favorable and we are safely nestled in our comfort zone, we do go through feelings of empathy but the moment our comfort zone is shaken and challenged, where does our ‘empathy’ vanish?
As comments started pouring in, we saw empathy disappearing. Is it so difficult to empathize with the ‘other’ without drawing the ‘self’ into it? Can we not just ‘empathize’ without getting personally challenged? - FOOD FOR THOUGHT.
Everybody wants an easy life but nobody wants to be perceived having one -This was the most fascinating part of the discussion that raged for two days and got so many involved so emotionally. One statement invited fury and that was ‘you have an easy life’ because you can do blah blah blah which I don’t get to. This statement was hurled at both mums-working and SAHM and it hurt deep.
But don’t we all want an easy life? What’s so grossly wrong in having an easy life? We all toil in our respective ways just to have an ‘easy life’. Isn't it? Then why couldn't we stand up and say ‘Yes, I have an a relatively easy life than yours’ and THANK GOD for it. What’s so glamorous about having an awfully stressful and challenging life and why was everyone running for the title of ‘stressful queen’? Is it because we relate stress and challenges to courage and ambition and being productive and the one who has easy is devoid of these glorious qualities? Yes, I guess. FOOD FOR THOUGHT.
But the fact is that courage, ambition, being productive doesn’t go to the drain if you have an easy life. Quite possible, you have an easy life because of these traits.
We all want to reach the same destination…The paths we have chosen are different. Just that. One very positive take away here was our love and devotion for our family. Every comment had this silver lining which is praiseworthy. What we forgot is that the we have chosen different paths to reach the same destination and each path is ‘just a path’...neither a good path or a not so good path. It's just a path…one’s own path.