“That dress is not designed for cycling in” shouted an adult minding a little girl who had decided to have a go on a bicycle in the park. And her response, “I know”, as she confidently rode on, was just perfect. I chuckled to myself as I walked by, but what I saw certainly made me think. It made me think about choice and courage.
It made me think about all the everyday pressures and influences in life that might limit you from doing what you truly want. That might stop you from daring to attempt what you are passionate about.
Whether the little girl had wanted to wear that dress in the first place or whether it was imposed upon her, we will never know. What we do know is that she decided that her slightly inconvenient attire was not going to stop her from doing what she enjoyed.
Being aware of the little things
We are exposed to countless influences in our lives everyday, all moulding us to be a certain way. The expectations of your family, friends, colleagues, fellow citizens all weighing down on you, often without your full awareness. Amplified by the media, prevailing norms and attitudes might then begin to define you without your choosing.
This is not to say that prevailing norms are necessarily good or bad. The real question is: How much of what you do have you decided for yourself because it is what you really want? It is then really a question of choice and a question of courage too.
It is about courage because swimming against the tide isn’t easy. Because to more actively choose means that you have to take more responsibility for your life. It means less of a focus on circumstances and more of a focus on how you make the most of those circumstances.
I am tempted to say that none of this is easy. But may be it is? May be with a bit more awareness and courage we can all embrace more of what is right for us. May be we can all be like that little girl.
Find out more about Harsha’s work