This article has been published in Deccan Chronicle. Read it here.

I am not sure whether I have to blame it on the omnipresent social media, but I’ve noticed a new trend that has been catching up. I am not sure if I’m surrounded by a wave of achievers or by people who falsely claim to have achieved something. I’ve written and reviewed a few LORs and SOPs for a few people whom I’ve known and I was surprised to see a version of people in the written format, something which I probably failed to notice when I was with them. It seems very confusing. 

Remember that neighbour’s kid you met last time at the annual apartment get-together. The kid who was going on and on about what he had done and how you found it difficult to believe a word of what he was speaking. Remember how you virtually stalked him online from Facebook to Twitter and discovered that he was speaking the truth, but everything was exaggerated by around 300%.  Remember your cousin you met at a family wedding. He seemed to paint a picture of a paradise while describing his stay and studies abroad. Remember how you were astonished, wondering how a person with so many arrears made it abroad for higher studies was actually enjoying a comfortable student life. Remember how you went out of the way to get in touch with a mutual friend who gave you the true picture of what was happening. Yes, I am talking about a few people like them.  You would surely have come across them. 

All of us want to look good. As in, we all want to be treated with respect and we all want to be role models for someone.  We want to be appreciated and honoured and we want the whole world to pause, look at us and shower praises at our “achievements”. So what is the easiest and the simplest way to do that? Probably working hard to make sure that all that we speak about ourselves is true, to a considerable extent. Another sensible option that is left is to not speak things which we’re not even remotely associated with. Simple, yet a few people complicate this unnecessarily.

It is nice to see a society where people are confident about themselves. As I always keep telling myself ‘If you are not confident about yourselves, don’t expect others to be confident that you would do something’. It sends out a strong and a good signal to the previous generation and sets a good example for the generations to come.  Of late, what I see in people is not confidence, but overconfidence. There is a very thin line between confidence and overconfidence and people seemed to be swayed to the latter side. As a result, you have people, who are haughty and speak in a condescending manner. The world is just not enough for them. They’re already up in the air searching for a better place with better people good enough for them. After all, we all become mere mortals, in their eyes.

The problem with such people is, the focus of everyone is one them and they’re pulled up as examples to show how bad our generation is. For one, people don’t need any specific reason to talk about the unruly present generation, and these people end up justifying what others have to say. They become bad examples and set wrong trends and before you know it, everyone around us generalize and assume that we all behave like those arrogant ones.

Being excessively proud is not all that bad if one can keep it to oneself. Forcing that opinion on others and expecting others to buy that is not the best thing to do. People need not be overly humble about themselves, but it would do them good to learn that they would be much better staying off from the other extreme of the scale.


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