When we’re young, we are told, “You can do anything.” We are given excuses, little puppy dog eyes substituting a broken teacup or a stolen cookie. And from that initial mistake, we learn that through made up excuses and stories, taking advantage of human empathy, we can get away with so much, whether that be a sick day during testing week or maybe a broken printer when an assignment is due.
Falling back on excuses, that nothing is because of “me,” always “me,” “me,” “me,” is our default state of mind. Late to class? Blame it on the traffic. Stuttered during an interview? Sorry, I had a cold a few days before. But it is within this fear, that not only do our lives fill with dread and monotony, but society also suffers, when the citizens making up a society are all thinking only about their own individual reputations.
I too have not been able to escape this state of mind, me perhaps more than most. Throughout my journey from small town girl in the middle of a developing country, to the person I am today, somewhere along the line, I had started to lose the most important human characteristic of all: humility. Those who find themselves achieving success, are always subject to this loss. We start thinking of ourselves exempt from certain rules because we are so accomplished, we start thinking that others should want to be in our presence.
But why? To some people, we may be published authors, Tedxspeakers, or accomplished mathematicians. But to our teachers, we are still students, of whose extracurriculars are just something on the side. To our elders, we are still young, naive to the cruelties of the world. And to our families, we are still daughters and sons, who are subject to grounding (if you are a teenager) or life lessons. We, not I, not you, nor anyone, is better than anyone else. There is always something to learn from others, some hidden story that have yet to be told.
We must be different people at the same time. I am Yada the published author, Tedxspeaker, and organization-founder, but that Yada has her own place and time to shine. To my friends, I am Yada the girl who laughs at everything and who loves peanut butter. To teachers, I am the student who tries her best (or so I hope) at every single activity, regardless of what is going on in her life.
I am trying, to this day, to be all these people. We must be all these people.
It is a choice.
Humility is a choice.