09 November, 2011


I studied and grew up in an all girls convent, where, besides other things, one subject we studied was moral science.
Certain concepts were ingrained in us, which are very unique to Convent students. While some of them were very good and should be taught to children but as I grew from a little girl, to a more mature woman, I realized that certain values had to be dealt with more judiciously if not fully discarded.

One such concept was being apologetic.

How many times we uselessly say-
I am sorry
Excuse me
I beg your pardon
How many times do you feel embarrassed and are curling the toes inside your shoes?

In life, I have realized that you need not be apologetic for each and every action of yours. Let me give few examples where we are uselessly apologetic.

You are better or for that matter lesser than others- in work, in physical appearance (looks, height, weight, dressing, shoes etc.), in skills. Have you seen how over tall people tend to slouch? Why? Because they are apologetic about their height. Do not be. Be confident and gracious. Be proud of what you have better than others.

You are young. You are expected to be subservient to elders and listen to everything they say. Their word is your command. You are an elder. You are expected to know it all and be forgiving to younger ones. You are supposed to set an example. Hey! No. Age has nothing to do with who is right or wrong. Stop being apologetic every time because of your age.

You oversleep or over rest- you are expected to apologize. You come late (for whatever reason- traffic jam, lot of work, party, got held up) it becomes your fault. You want to be by yourself and not socialize, not talk to anyone, you do not come out of your room, and you are expected to be apologetic.

You want to do your things your way- Speak your mind, not tolerate interference, not give explanation for your actions, dress up the way you want, spend your money the way you want- how can you? Apologize.

Then you are labeled for every action or word or desire of yours. Examples
You have more sex drive than your partner- you will be termed nymphomaniac.
You have less sex drive than your partner- you will be labeled frigid.
If you really look after yourself well- you are self obsessed
If you ignore yourself and give more attention to housework, family- you are careless.
If you work a lot or maybe are too good at work- workaholic, over ambitious.
If you do not- you are laid back.
If you spend a lot- spendthrift
If you save a lot- miser
If you are too thin- anorexic
If you are plump and full- obese
If you love you’re partner a lot- over possessive, jealous, not giving space.
If you give your partner space- non caring, neglecting.
If somehow, just somehow, you achieve some perfection, you will still be labeled artificial, fake, plastic, robot, pretentious.

Get above the labels and adjectives. These are the labels that society creates. Or sometimes you get caught in your own image that you have created for yourself.

So you are constantly treading on a razor’s edge, striving to strike that right or rather perfect balance. Trying to not cross that thin, fine line. Women are especially expected to be good both at work and at home.

Remember, you can’t please anyone and everyone. My Guruji says, “Stop being a football of other’s opinions”. In Hindi, he also says, “Sabse bada rog, kya kahenge log”. Kuch to log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehna (loosely translated it means- people will say something. Their job is to say something. )

Stop feeling guilty for your each and every action. Guilt is a feeling associated with past. Fear is a feeling associated with future. Fear of what will people say or think about you if you do this or say that. Fear of what might happen. Live in present moment. Not in past, not in future. But in present. NOW. "NOW' has no guilt and no fear. 

Stop trying to please everyone. Stop being a conformist and living by the norms set by society or by people around you. Sometimes it is good to lead your life unabashedly and unashamedly. So please no one but your own self.

As long as you hurt no one through your actions or words, as long as you lead your life your way, responsibly and take full responsibility of your actions and words, you have no reason to feel shame or guilt. What is unpardonable is playing/ruining/interfering with some one else’s life.

What is most important is Live and let live. Lead your life the way you want to. Protect your life zealously. But also do not interfere with other’s life. Be good to others. Help others as much as you can in your own capacity, without expecting anything in return.

Do not apologize for your passions and desires, your looks or your skills. Do not apologize if you want to be by yourself and not mix with others or if you want to go out and socialize with 100 others. 

I have known bloggers, who would carefully write only very appropriate stuff, for the fear of it being read by their family, friends and professional colleagues. Why be scared of what others would read and think about you? That is their problem. Not yours. Do what you feel like and that should not be based on-what will the other person say or think about you.

If you have not done huge crime, if you have not hurt anyone, if in your heart you think you are right, stop being apologetic about silly things. Stop feeling guilty about silly issues. It is your life and you have every Goddamn right to live it to the fullest the way you want.

Break little bondage and blossom the way you want to. Apologies can take a walk.