Thursday, September 20, 2018

Do you Value yourself?

When you value something, you look after it well, don’t you?  If you have a bike or a gadget that is expensive and delicate, then you will ensure that it is always kept safely, serviced regularly, and used properly.  Perhaps the most valuable asset that you have, and which came free of cost to you, is your life.  You have been personally and intricately carved out by your Creator – and if you have any doubt about it, just look at the inner side of your thumb.  The curved lines you see on it are called “fingerprint.”  Do you know that among 700 crore people in this world, no one, absolutely no one, has the same fingerprint as yours?  The same way the Almighty has given you a ‘mental’ fingerprint which is uniquely yours. 

Now the choice is yours whether you value your life and your intelligence enough to live up to it with values or not.  It cannot be taught through text books, and it cannot be copied from someone.  It is your choice to ensure that you live with the basic ethics, values and morals, regardless of what faith, community, denomination or religion you belong to. In today’s world when violence, terrorism, rape and corruption have become daily occurrences, you need to bring about a change starting with yourself.  Keep in mind that only if you value yourself, the world will value you.  If you live by your principles and refuse to get pushed by the winds of modernism and “herd” mentality, then eventually you will gain respect, success and popularity.

If you are a girl or woman, ask yourself whether you have good self-esteem and self-worth. Here are some relevant points: 
1. Check self statements of “put-downers”, i.e. how you put yourself down by saying or thinking negative things about yourself, or consider yourself inferior, particularly with regard to men 
2. Distortions in your statements i.e. what is the actual truth about your qualities, capabilities and equality with all humans. 
3. Review who has made you feel inferior or inadequate, whether somewhere sometime someone has made you believe all these negative thoughts about yourself. 
4. Think and write down what the truth is, and the rebuttal to the negative statements 
5. Make friends with yourself. Give positive strokes and rewards to yourself 
6. On a day to day basis, repeat “Affirmations” of what you are and what you can do 
7. Keep a diary or note book and write every day: (a)  Some good qualities of yours    
    (b)  Some good deeds you have done that day. 
Help every growing girl to develop in this manner, so that she will never allow herself to be abused or misused.

If you are a boy or man, understand that your responsibility to yourself and to society is even higher.  Answer a few thought-provoking questions to yourself truthfully:
• Do you feel that women are inferior, need to be looked after? 
• Do you at times look at any strange woman as a sexual object? 
• Do you feel that it is okay to break minor civic rules when no one is watching or no one        may be affected? 
• Do you tend to compete recklessly, at times bending ethics, in order to succeed in your        targets or work? 
• Do you sometimes find your anger going out of control? 

If you have answered “yes” to even one or two of the above questions, then YOU are contributing to the problems that society and the world are facing increasingly.  Terrorists and rapists were also ordinary men like you once upon a time – they neglected their basic values, bent morals here and there, and went down the roller-coaster ride from where they could never come out.

Whenever you find yourself blaming “them” who commit offences and cause harm, do not forget to introspect on your own contribution towards the degeneration.  If you start with your own self, you can slowly reach out to your friends and acquaintances and bring them to your way of thinking, thus preventing the creation of more anti-socials. 

If you do not take the steps now, you may face the situation that Pastor Niemöller lamented during the Anti-Nazi Resistance Movement in 1939: 

“First they came for the Jews, But I did not speak out, Because I was not a Jew. 

Then they came for the Communists, And I did not speak out, Because I was not a Communist. 

Then they came for the trade-unionists, And I did not speak out,  Because I was not a trade-unionist. 

Then they came for the Catholics, And I did not speak out, Because I was not a Catholic. 

Then they came for me, And there was no one left to speak out for me.” 

Dr. Ali Khwaja : The Author is Chairman, Banjara Academy, a Counselor, life-skills coach.  

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