I am writing to you today for I know, like every other strong, independent woman, you will find a voice of your own. A voice that is a sum total of your experiences, ideas, thoughts and beliefs. A voice that may not necessarily confirm to the usual, accepted conventions. I write to you, for I know, self-doubt and queries shall haunt you sooner or later. That will either make you question and suppress your beliefs or make you irrationally defensive. When this happens, remember two things, first, make sure that your views are not pigeonholes and second, no matter how well read you are, don’t dis others’ opinions.
I say so because; there is never an “absolute” truth. Perspectives, opinions, views are all a reflection of different experiences, diverse knowledge and backgrounds. It’s always good to have an argument, but don’t enter arguments with rigid, pre-conceived biases. It will limit your ability to make your thoughts fluid…and fluidity of thoughts and humility are the characteristics of the learned. Technically, an argument should challenge you to perceive differently. If it is something that you are blatantly opposed to, don’t get defiant and defensive. It’s okay to be emotional about an argument, but ensure that feelings don’t blur out basic logic and common sense. Writers, activists are passionate about their work because they have the ability to empathize. However, be well read, ask questions and make thoughtful remarks basis your understanding and learning.Don’t just blabber because everyone else is blah-ing away to glory, speak more by speaking less.
Be very careful about who you are arguing with. Don’t initiate arguments with those who complacently have their blinders on. Arguments shouldn’t be a wrestling match of egos, and at the end,if all you achieve is two inflated egos, I’d say both the parties have miserably lost. Listen well, observe, ask questions, and think differently. However, never bow down or walk out if you feel cut short or mansplanned. Talk back if required, raise your voice and if need be, be mean! But always choose these wars wisely. Not every argument is worth your effort, time and energy. Choose wisely, where to invest your words and your thoughts. You are a brand in yourself, choose smartly who your target audience is.
There will always be as many opinions on the table as the number of assholes on the chairs. You must learn to pick the best from the huge lot of criticism that shall be hurled you way. Don’t let it discourage you; don’t let it suppress your voice. Sieve the best, puke out the rest. Overtime, you will figure it all out, after a few tears here and a few shouting matches there. I hope you will continue to speak out, I hope you will acquire endless knowledge and contest your own opinions. Above all, I hope, no matter where you are, your hunger to learn will be greater than your ego. And believe me that will make all the difference someday.