A Competitive Community

Indians are competitive. We are competitive in every possible thing that we can be.

As a child, I remember the competition to get the best grades. Later, it was SAT scores and colleges. After that, it was careers. Then came marriage and children.

It was also happening within the community outside of our Indian one but it was definitely amplified within it.

It didn’t matter if we were in the top 10 of our class in our school, we had to also to better than the people we were growing up with (or at least comparable).

I’m positive that there is always some talk about who is married and who has had kids and who is a stay at home mom and who is a working mom. There’s definitely competition in who has the best wedding and the most original wedding and the most expensive wedding.

This competition exists in whatever we do. I’ve experienced it heavily in different dance companies. The crazy thing to me is that I honestly believe we limit our potential as a culture if we compete.

We want to be able to share how wonderful the Indian culture is with the world. But how can we do that when we try to keep each other down? We want to involve and encourage as many people as possible.

So the question becomes why? Why should we encourage others in our community? What if they are our competition for schools and jobs? What if their business competes directly with ours? Won’t it hurt us?

In my opinion, no. I’ve seen the discouragement and disappointment of a competitive community and I’ve seen the amazing community that people can build if they have each other’s support. In the long run, everyone moves forward if we work together and lift each other up. Maybe, just maybe, India with its billion of people can have more of a presence world-wide. We could enter in the Olympics and have more than 4 people. We could be more than a side-note in the entertainment industry (especially since India makes the most movies in the world). We could build a great, progressive country that is respected.

I honestly believe this all starts at home. Build each other up. Encourage each other. Help each other move forward.

Relationships: Be Lame or Have Fun

Relationships are hard. Even the best relationships take some work. But, it’s possible to make a relationship easier if you just know how.

The hardest part about any relationship between 2 people is that you are going to have 2 sets of personalities and opinions. And if you’re lucky, those personalities and opinions really make the relationship a lot of fun and exciting.

But occasionally, there will be clashes. Here’s the bottom line: you can either let those differences hurt your relationship or you can help make it stronger.

When I was younger and in a relationship, I held onto things every time there was a fight. I would stew in my anger about things not going my way or if it seemed like my wants and needs were being ignored. I grew up with that image in my head that my significant other was supposed to create my every happiness (I’m sure every Bollywood movie I saw and every fairy tale I read helped grow this expectation). How surprised was I to realize that that expectation didn’t translate into real life.

Somewhere, between all of my relationships, I learned how to be responsible for my own happiness. I learned that if my significant other was happy, I was happy. I learned that sometimes, in a relationship, you’ve got to swallow your pride so that you and your significant other can move forward together.

Now, I’m in a relationship where we encourage each other to do things that make us happy and give each other the space to do so. When we fight, we take some time out and then address the issue and move on. We realize it doesn’t help either of us to be mad over something just to keep our pride and, in that, lose time enjoying each other.

My husband told me one thing while we were dating that has stuck with me throughout our relationship: “You can either be lame or you can have fun.”

I choose to have fun every time.

 

Evil Does Not Have A Race or A Religion

Evil does not have a race or a religion.

People who have the ability to hurt other people deliberately ARE evil.

But can we blame everyone of a specific background for tragedies that happened around the world in the last week?

Well, let’s see.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed into power in Germany. By 1935, his message of “No Jews” is clear. By 1945, when World War 2 ended, over 5.5 million Jewish people had been executed.

In 1995, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols attacked a federal building in Oklahoma City because they didn’t like the way the federal government handled Waco and Ruby Ridge.

In 2002, in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, attacks were organized against the Muslim population because the Hindu people believed that they had attacked a train with Hindus returning from a pilgrimage. An independent investigation found the cause of the fire to be accidental but yet, the attacks still took place. Regardless of the instigation, many Indian Hindus and Indian Muslims died.

In 2012, James Holmes killed 12 and injured 58 in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

In 2012, Wade Michael Page killed 6 and injured 3 in a gurudwara (Sikh temple).

In 2012, Adam Lanza killed 27 and injured 1 in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.

in 2014, a UN Commission found secret prison camps in North Korea with some of the worst violence in the world.

In 2015, Dylann Storm Roof killed 9 in Charleston, South Carolina.

In 2015, a journalist and four women were executed by cartels in Mexico City.

In 2015, the amount of violence in Ukraine between rebels and the government has been consistent, leaving thousands of Ukranians dead.

I could keep on giving examples that go so far back in history but the point is that evil people are evil everywhere. They aren’t defined by a race or a religion. They aren’t defined by anything except that they had the ability to hurt other people.

With regards to the attacks that happened this past week, I do believe that those who planned and carried out the attacks were evil. But I will not accept that every Muslim person or every Syrian person or whatever nationality one might be is evil.

The only way this world wins against evil is by bonding together. If we have suffered from an injustice against us, how can we cause injustice to someone else? Tolerance and support are two of the most important things we can provide to others.

So when you see someone who might be of the same religion or race that one of the attackers was, remember that they are suffering as much as we are. They have to deal with being stigmatized because they are of the same background. They had no choice in the matter as well.

Let’s find a way to fix the evil in this world. We aren’t Hindus versus Muslims versus Christians versus Catholics. We are the good of humanity versus the evil of humanity. We want peace and love. We want to raise our children in a place where they don’t have to worry about their ethnicity or religion as being something they have to hide.

We want to live in a world without evil.

 

 

 

 

People Pleasers and Jerks

I realized something important last night. No matter how much you analyze someone, there is no way to figure them out. They are just jerks. And there’s no reason (or maybe there are many reasons) to why they are that way. 

I also want to explain why, in the title, I added people pleasers as well. Well, I think one of the characteristics of someone who turns out to be a jerk is that they are a people pleaser. That’s not to say that all people pleasers are jerks. The ones that are jerks tend to focus on someone they want to impress and use all of their might to please them. The rest of the people in their life get don’t get much effort at all. I always wonder if the people who are the beneficiaries of the people pleasing can see that they are just temporarily the focus of this person’s efforts or if they realize that there isn’t much to that person otherwise. I know I don’t realize it until I become someone who doesn’t get the effort. And then, it just sucks. It sucks to deal with those people because you can remember the friendship you once had and the fact that they don’t respect you or that relationship enough to really put in effort anymore at all. 

I have learned that there is no way to get through to a jerk as well. You can try talking to them, manipulating them, being overly nice to them, yelling at them, and in the end, it’s a wasted effort on your part, no matter what. They will do what they want to do. And usually, it’s to benefit themselves. Luckily, experience helps in figuring out who is a jerk and who isn’t earlier on in the relationship but sometimes, it’s hard to see right away. The fact that it eventually ends up hurting me makes me not even want to trust new people at any point anymore. 

The only solution I have found that works is to walk away from these people. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible due to circumstances such as working together or being on the same team. The best you can hope for at that point is limited contact. Exposure is only more toxic. And why keep fighting for people who no longer even realize you aren’t there anymore? I don’t think they realize that when you fight with them, that means you still care about them some because you’re fighting to fix something that you believe in. When you just stop talking to them, it usually means you have given up and the energy isn’t worth it anymore. 

If you are one of those people that I described here today, try to remember that there is a world full of people out there that you should learn to be considerate around. There are people that care about you that might not be in your field of vision because you take them for granted. Take responsibility for the fact that your actions might be hurting someone even though you don’t think it would hurt. Most people do feel and aren’t just left-brained. Things are not good just because they look right to the outside world. There is usually a lot more to human beings than just that. 

I want to dedicate this post to the people that I can’t remove from my life and cause me anxiety whenever I have to talk to them.