Right Decision, Wrong Reason
When first arriving at the blind school, I felt afraid. I walked into the center of the courtyard, watching the students talk and play, and all I could think of was their disability. I feared that our relationship would be one of patronizing nature and send a message of superiority. My gut told me to stay with my classmates, and that any interaction with the blind students would come off as condescending. I was afraid of how I portrayed myself. I nervously approached a student in the outfield of a cricket match. “Hello,” I said in my limited Hindi. “My name is Shyan. And yours?” From there, blossomed a connection that maintained for the rest of our time there. It was a connection between two equals. There were no patronizing undertones nor awkwardness between us and that we are very similar. A single decision of fearlessness allowed me to understand a community and make a connection with a wonderful person. There is always potential to create a relationship with someone. The question is what one does with that potential.
There is potential in everything. A mother has the potential to teach her child multiplication. A three year old boy has the potential to grow up and discover a new star. The mother can also teach her child to steal and the three year old boy also has the power to grow up to be a corrupt politician. Potential is very powerful, but also possibly dangerous. It is fear that makes the decision of this potential’s outcome.
Whether we like it or not, fear has been engrained in our lives. We allow it to make nearly all of our important decisions. Students rarely study to get a good grade, but rather out of fear for what will happen if they don’t. We focus on the sadness that comes with a 60% rather than the joy that comes with a 100%. We look towards fear in our times of trouble since it provides an easy way out, a “safe solution.” And sometimes it’s the right decision, like how it’s a good idea to study for a test, but risks are necessary to success and growth. For example, if fear stopped Leonardo DiCaprio from pursuing an acting career, he wouldn’t have met his dream of being an actor. Allowing anxiety to hijack our decisions is often prevents us from moving forward and progressing. It leads to a narrow way of thinking and short-term solutions.
It is also important not to mistake fear for intuition. Although they both give the same “gut feeling,” fear makes us run away from risk, while intuition encourages us to move towards our goals and is driven by passion.
I hope to stop letting fear make decisions for me. Although it may lead me to the same “I need to study for this test,” I would much rather come to that conclusion with hope and love in mind than fear.
Is it noble to make the right decision for the wrong reason?