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  • Writer's pictureSeema Sutradhar

I don't want to be a hero or heroine

What's there courage to do in our lives? We are not trying to be a hero or heroine. We want to be ordinary people. This is what most people think and do. I believed the same and then in many occasions I realised ‘no courage has a lot to do in our lives,' it is the cornerstone of our behaviour.

The wish to be a free person comes from courage. It propels us towards trying something new. Lack of courage is what stops us from doing anything different. At the workplace, we will conform to all the norms just to be safe. 'Align' right, you keep hearing this — align to your boss; align to team objectives; align to the silo you belong to. We are taught to conform and align. Do we question them anytime? Some people can’t help but go off track, and they are not the ones who do not believe in team work, nor they want to be seen as heroes or heroines. They are genuine thinkers, who do not see it as 100% right to conform. They have ideas and opinions. What happens to those bunch of people — two things either they manage to express themselves in the right manner and if they are lucky to have listening ears from their peers and superiors they succeed in bringing the change from what was being told to do. Or the second thing that happens to them is they are shut up, and if they can't help themselves they may be crushed and thrown out of the system.

But today’s business will learn that these people with thinking minds and courage are the real asset. They are the real contributors for any creativity and are the ones most agile, who will collaborate to create the new. They have the courage to think differently and share. The conforming lot needs to be told what to do but these ones who have courage, come with initiative and drive.

Honestly everyone as a child was courageous — they were all risk takers. A child learning to walk will get up again and again even though he knows he may fall, but keeps trying. The same child if touches a bright light bulb will not touch it again because he learnt, it was very hot, the last time. Many of us as a child have been shut up for speaking out or doing something out of the conformity. That learning, like the light bulb, stays with us and we learn not to go out of the norm. Unfortunately, it is true for most and we forget to be courageous; we forget to take an initiative; we forget to be different. We stay away. Organisations cannot be agile, and they cannot change unless they encourage these people again, to learn to speak and think afresh and above all encourage them to share, not make them shut up.

Honestly writing on a subject like 'courage' needed courage and I did not have one. I truly seek to learn from your perspectives and stories....

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