Never look down on anyone…after all “Life is full of surprises”

Photo by Roger Bradshaw on Unsplash

It happened to me when I was in the 6th grade. The principal of my school, Sister Hope, called in my parents and told them that your son is no good in English and that he cannot cope up with the class and as grades increase, he will find it even more difficult and may result in poor academic performance. In those days we had schools which were in the vernacular medium and some schools, specially the Convent schools, were English medium schools. My parents were worried and started comtemplating what the principal was suggesting.

I was (surprisingly for that age) very firm and requested my parents to not change my medium of study and promised them that I will work hard in English and will ensure this situation will not be called for again. After that starting from 6th grade all the way till the 12th grade, I was one of the topper in the class in English subject.

This incident has become a benchmark for me in my professional life that never ever challenge me — I can turn around situations so dramatic that the person will not be able to recover from the shock of what hit him.

When I was in my early school years, I had these severe stammering problems. Every other word was a pain for me and it was so embarassing that today when I think about all this, I never miss my school days ever. My classmates used to laugh and poke fun at me all the time. Worst were the days when I was asked to stand up in the class and made to read some paragraphs aloud in front of the class, or the pressure from teachers and parents to participate in elocution competitions.

Instead of getting into the trap of developing an inferiority complex, I decided to work on this along with the help of my dad, who helped me tirelessly to overcome this embarrassing problem. Today I speak everywhere. Different countries, different audiences, and give speeches and lectures every other day. I have been complimented by being said that my unique ability to connect my thoughts with my speech in a effective manner has won me hearts everywhere.

Maybe reading this story of mine might help those thousands of unfortunate children who may be undergoing the same situation. I overcame…you can too. Do not be bothered by what others talk about you or laugh at you. Believe in yourself and work towards it.

Advice to people who stammer: Speak slowly. Read out the entire content of your speech and mark all those “difficult to say” words. Find synonyms of those words and replace these problem words with alternate words which you are able to speak without stuttering. Remember there’s always victory after fear. If you participate in more and more events where you need to deliver speeches, etc., the fear factor will reduce and that would give you victory over this problem you have inherited.

Another incident happened in my life wherein my competitor belittled me and my organisation in front of many others. At that point in time, I was the underdog and couldn’t say much publicly but had determined to show this guy what my team and I can do and that who will have the last laugh. Today he is almost a nobody selling educational CDs and DVDs whereas we have been able to expand our operations across multiple countries with much more respect and status from world over. I have yet another example similar to this when somebody had looked down upon me and in no time tables turned, and today its a completely different and awkward position (for him) whenever we meet.

Never look down upon anyone. Never underestimate the power of an individual. A person’s status and current position could be because of certain factors out of one’s domain or that the person may be passing through a rough phase of life. Situations change and so does opportunities. My question is, “Why do people enjoy looking down on others? Why can’t we take every individual and when necessary give them a benefit of doubt? Why can’t we be empathetic and understanding and try to understand the context behind certain actions and statements?

Final thoughts:

  1. When you talk to someone from a position of strength, remember your struggles and how you overcame those and reached this position today. Visualise this person could also repeat the same or even better that achievement of yours.
  2. Listen to the context and try to understand the situation and mark the genuine efforts put in by the person. Remember always that hard work always pays dividends — question is not if but when. Realise that maybe your positive inputs and a sense of assurance and appreciation might help him and make him your biggest fan rather than belittling him and making him a person who says negative about you all the time.
  3. Do not unnecessarily challenge a person because you never know if your immaturity in challenging your competitor could prove to be your biggest mistake :-)

I like to write on topics which are personal to me and that makes me feel more related to the context and content. Feel free to send in your comments, if any. Have a good one!

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