Indians are a dichotomous lot. On one hand – warm, hospitable and sociable. And on the other hand, hugely classist and racist. And that’s not all; we are also equally vocal about both aspects of our personality. Land up at a party in New Delhi or a Mall in Chandigarh and it’s not unusual to overhear a conversation of the following nature:
Lady 1:‘I saw your daughter at the bus stop yesterday…she was waiting for a bus. Is everything okay Reena? Why is she not going to office in her car? Any money problems?’
Lady 2:‘No no Simmi… I don’t know what’s wrong with her these days… she is into this stupid global warming shorming thing na…she was saying it helps nature or something like that.’
Lady 1:‘You must talk to her about it haan – it doesn’t look good, what will people say?’
What will people say?
This often-used sentence in our country is undoubtedly the root of all social anxiety. If we literally look at the definition of social anxiety, it is explained as – a disorder, also called social phobia, intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation.
What will people say penetrates into almost all aspects of our lives. From the clothes we wear, to our relationship status, to the choice of work, and the colour of our skin. While a lot of this has a bearing on ‘only’ our personal life, the need to look socially acceptable somewhere also impacts the planet we live in. Making a choice to drive your four-wheeler as opposed to walking or taking a bus to a party also means that you are allowing our social anxiety to add to the level of pollution on the planet.
Didn’t think on those terms before –did you?
Now that we have found a lateral connection between your social anxiety and the effect it has on the environment, here are ‘7 POWERFUL COMMANDMENTS’ to ease the former and positively impact the latter. Feel free to stick these up on your soft-board or share them on your social media. No books have been referred to while creating these commandments.
I. Thou shall remember that the planet is more important than a peer’s comments.
II. Thou shall post pictures while travelling in buses and trains also, not just in fancy four-wheelers. By doing so, thou shall normalise the use of public transport.
III. Thou shall hop into a bus with a bunch of friends while going to a party and set an example for others.
IV. Thou shall shame those back who shame thou for using of public transport, telling them that violating the earth is not classy.
V. Thou shall post statistics that prove how use of public transport is better for the health of the earth. And tags all my friends and friends of friends.
VI. Thou shall mark no-car days in the calendar for the next one-year.
VII. Thou shall be the change.
With the commandments in place, you are now equipped to fight the unhealthy social pressure. And fight for what really matters – a healthier planet!