We can be Heroes
Industry bigwigs, public figures, influential people, media celebrities among others, carry with their success, power and fame, certain unspoken responsibilities towards others, especially those not as fortunate.
Those responsibilities include always acting in a fair and just manner. And avoiding any form of oppression, directly or by way of others.
This post is for all you salman khan fans; a glimpse into the ugly, and a heavy load of a darker truth. The question being, can you handle it?
For the uninitiated, salman khan is arguably one of Bollywood’s top actors [Bollywood: a popular term for the Hindi film industry; India’s ‘Hollywood’, if I may?]
Now, when salman isn’t acting, he has been busy being guilty of some crimes like a drunken hit-and-run where 1 person was killed, 4 injured. Prior to that, he and other actors were charged with poaching of near-threatened black-bucks. Pending judgement, he’s been kind enough to have a website built to share developments about his court cases. Talk about information you could live without.
Knowing the pace of our judicial system, I’m guessing judgement will be come when his career has gone south, like was in the case with sanjay dutt, another actor currently serving a sentence for illegal possession of firearms during the Mumbai serial blasts (1993), the firearms themselves traced back to the terrorist implicated in the blasts.
I request you to read the link below, an article I came across online. And then I request you to wonder about everything you admired about this person who has apparently been busy being human for sometime now. And judge for yourself, where our priorities lie. How influence and power can overshadow. How far people can go to exercise influence, and the extent they will go to, to hide the truth.
You say chulbul pandey is dabangg? I say the most petite of actresses he has ever acted with, probably has far more guts to face consequences of their actions.
Here’s the link: [Cyber Bully]
We must choose our heroes, idols and role models with extreme caution. And we must assess them regularly to ensure they are up to remain on the pedestals we have given them in our minds. Else, as Friedrich Nietzsche said, ‘if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.’
In the Dark Knight, there’s a scene where Harvey Dent says “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain”.
When you first hear it, it sounds like one of those brainless lines from some low-budget movie, right? Like a random dialog from the movie ‘Torque‘ (oh yeah, not low-budget, but definitely sad dialogs).
But something about this line made it stick in my head. I wondered if and how it made sense. And then it struck me, while looking at it from the work perspective. That’s when it got some perspective.
Who is a hero? Just a regular girl or guy who does something beyond the ordinary. They do something good, they do something extra, they do something better! Selfless acts that surprise. That delight the average folk.
Now firstly, what happens with doing that extra is, that people are not expecting it.
Normal people live in continuous, monotonous cycles of predictable, normal and average things; the routine.
So, when you suddenly change that with “better” or “more”; they are surprised. They don’t expect it. Now this does not necessarily apply to work only, but to pretty much everything in life.
In the evening, on your way back from work, you offer your seat to someone who, say looks more tired than you. Even though they might not show it,
they’d be really surprised. [try Forward Pass]
Anyway, back to my point. So, when u do such “out-of-the-ordinary” things, people are initially taken aback. They’re grateful.
However, when you continue the ‘good deeds’ on a regular basis, they start getting used to it. Now ideally, they should realize and always know at the back of their minds, that what you are doing is much better than the ‘off-the-shelf’ normal. However, with time, they tend to forget, and your extra efforts now become the new normal.
This is quite a responsibility, and would be much easier to implement if the entire community (or the entire mankind for all i care) rose up to the new
levels of efficiency or goodness or whatever. But this does not happen. Most people take for granted that you have chosen to do what you do, that extra bit, which now has become the new normal, and is the minimum expectation that they now have from you.
So, now if you were to slow down, or pull back even a little bit; even though you might still be giving or delivering more than the old normal levels, for them, you are just under-delivering, or, you have suddenly turned into the bad guy, you’ve become inefficient, or you simply don’t care a *bleep* anymore.
Strange are the ways of the human kind.
To conclude, don’t lose hope. Because even if you find yourself being looked upon as the villain, it’s only a matter of time before the blind folk will realize the true worth of your efforts. However, till you get to that stage, it is very important that you have the patience and conviction to stick with what you believe in, and not meekly reconcile yourself with the herd. Stick to your guns, and you will see yourself going right back to being the hero in good time.
Because sooner or later, people will start to see things clearer.
They will see how your beliefs and principles are rock solid, compared to their fickle-mindedness and mediocrity.
And once you’re done giving this a thought, you might want to run through a very interesting article about why you should “Stop Trying To Delight Your Customers“, @ HBR, courtesy Matthew Dixon, Karen Freeman, and Nicholas Toman.