The funny thing is, nobody in the average Indian schools teaches you the important stuff. Sure, you learn factorials, HTML and the Preamble to the Constitution. You learn maybe French and you’re taught to play sports. But nobody sees the bigger picture: there’s no sex education, no classes specifically meant to teach you manners and your social studies teacher is a joke to you.
And kids these days, with their overexposure to the Internet, and their desire to grow up super fast, start looking like twenty-year-olds when they’re barely fifteen. The cringe is crippling. I should put that on a tee shirt. And sell it. The cringe is crippling, y’all.
Anyway, I’ve got a bit of a story-time today.
I’ve got this friend from college, and she travels around quite a bit. She’s been all over India, on her own, camera and backpack in tow, and it’s safe to say that she’s encountered a lot of fine uh, specimens of the human species. Here’s the thing, nobody shies away from criticism, when they’re the ones tossing “criticism” your way. She got called out for being supposedly grossly shameless (besharam) and easy (not even going to repeat the word they called her) and she took it all in her stride. It got so bad, there was a point where other women, overcome by fits of jealousy, no doubt, (because who are we kidding here – Indian women don’t have the freedom to solo travel, at least not the majority) posted hate comments on her feed. Again, proving to the masses that social media is super evil.
She never showed skin, never broke the rules, never really did anything to warrant such hate. But the hate kept coming. And then one day, it didn’t. Which was shocking.
She explained it all to me, the other day. That nothing beats staying classy. That you don’t get places by stooping to certain people’s levels. That, if you reply to whatever is being said, with kindness, despite the backlash, it frustrates people. Why? If you refuse to stay anything but classy, if you can’t be broken into pieces with words and actions even, it makes people super frustrated because they didn’t manage to destroy you. And that’s super important. This made a ton of sense to me. That you need to be kind and never let people get to you. That, if you need a weapon of mass-destruction of hatred and trolling, it has to be this. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. Again, you could be rocking Louboutin heels, you could be nouveau riche, and you could appear shiny as a new penny – but if your mind is in the damn gutter, you’re a total zero. It’s actually what’s inside your head and your heart, and how amazing your personality is, that actually really matters.
So go ahead, make that your weapon.
Elegance. Class. Sophistication. Keeping a cool head. The new weapons. The only weapons. Kill them with class, people.