Is it all about self appraisal?

I know of an old woman, frail, stout, who walks with a slight limp. Her face, has fine and bold lines that endorse the hard life she’s had. Bringing up two girls, providing them with education, inculcating cultural values, values of compassion, regard, and respect. She was slightly fortunate, in that she had a husband to support her financially, while she took care of the household. They bought a house and rented a portion of it as a means of permanent income. A decent amount of assets in the form of gold and bank balance. But now, all she has is the thaali and the wedding ring that were given to her by her husband 40 years back. No, she has not lost all of that on gamble, nor has she spent all of that on her children. But one by one she has been selling her valuables to provide a few widows with their daily needs in a small village. Those widows who have lost in the gamble of life. I adore her, for her selflessness. Whenever I look at her, I feel so belittled and I pity myself for just showing pity on the widows living a stranded life in a remote village with no hope about tomorrow, I only adore the wonderful woman who is trying to make a difference in the lives of those widows, I am only being inspired momentarily and forgetting about the great deeds an ordinary woman has been doing. No one but I know about this humble woman because she approached me seeking help to sell the few furniture that was left in her house. She asked me if I could buy some. She never told me why she wanted to sell the furniture until I asked her. She was selling them as she felt they were really not required for a person to survive. She only wanted some money to provide for the basic needs of those women. Yet no one knows about her and her selflessness.

I also know of a conceited woman, who cares little about her home, cares more about her looks, her manicure, her pedicure, her hair cut from a particular and skilled hair stylist. Who cares little for the guests at home and orders in food, has two maids, one to feed her daughter and the other to feed her and her husband. And of course, a maid to sweep and mop the house. Who rolls up her window when a hungry child or an old woman stretches arms at a busy signal. Whose arguments revolve around emancipation of rights. Who flaunts a two month executive MBA from an IIM to be something like a four year course with her education status on Facebook being “Studied at IIM”. She also speaks about the change she has been trying to bring about in the society; in reality, something that has been only in her mind. A few of those dreams were piloted for the sake of publicity on a few scapegoats. Starting one venture today and moving on to another that gave her more visibility. Yet she is touching lives. Her circle of friends and a large number of the population knows her as the face of the 21st century woman, a woman who inspires and moves a hundred and more souls. Who’s sacrificed everything and more….. The newspapers have a picture of hers in four columns, the proud face of the 21st century woman, who has been posting the newspaper cuttings of her article that appeared in a regional magazines on different social media sites . Yes, she’s got more than 500 likes, and many an inspirational applause. You get goosebumps when you read about the woman she is, and yes you also get goosebumps if you happen to know her close, for the woman who she is not.

Isn’t it sad that the world has come to nothing but self appraisal and self marketing. Is there anything genuine at all about the hundreds of so-called achievers. Is it all about advertising yourself in social media, hogging the limelight, leading a glamorous life. Are we really giving something to the society. Would a person who is genuinely concerned about the society and wants to bring about change even bother about talking about it? How does it matter?

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