• Jagruthi Maddela

Why the fear of being judged should be the least of all our fears

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

My inspiration for this post came from a conversation I recently had with one of my friends. We were discussing about women’s issues, specifically about why it’s important for girls to get an education. Somewhere in between our conversation, he made a comment saying, “Oh Malala Yousufzai, she’s just a hype. There are so many girls who are fighting for the same cause, but the media chose to focus only on her, so she became famous.”

Whether Malala is hyped, is a discussion for another day. However, that conversation got me thinking. My first thought was “But she worked so much. She was awarded a Nobel Prize! Is he going to disregard all her efforts because the media ‘hyped’ her?” This incident reinforced one of my strongest beliefs – do what you like without worrying about other’s judgments.

I learnt this lesson when I was in fourth grade. We were given a ‘donation card’ to raise funds for underprivileged children in our school. All the students were given a week’s time to collect funds (ideally from family/neighbours). I had my cousins over that week, so collecting contributions was easy. At the end of the week, our teacher gathered the ‘donation cards’, made a list and announced that I collected the maximum funds from our class. While this came as a surprise to me, I instantly over-heard one of the kids say, “That’s because she’s good at begging”. This was my first brush with a scoffer.

When you know your purpose is right, it’s quite easy to ignore ridicule. However, you may have the kindest of intentions behind your actions and there will still be that one person who doesn’t get what you do. A friend of mine once told me, “If there are ten people in a room, there is no rule that says all of them will like you. There may be few who don’t and that’s perfectly fine”. Think about it, society judges you no matter what. There is no escape from it, really. So, what’s the point of holding yourself back?

Every single person in history who impacted thousands of lives positively also has some flak to their credit. Nelson Mandela was accused of encouraging violence, while Mother Teresa was thought of being a typical white citizen who forced conversions in third world countries. Google any iconic person’s name with the tag “negative” and you’ll find at least one article of someone bashing them and their actions. If someone like Gandhi thought “Oh, there are so many people who criticise me, I’m going to stop everything I’m fighting for”, it would be hard to imagine our country’s predicament right now.

There is absolutely no reason to believe you are less than any of the legends mentioned above. What made these people great, apart from the causes they fought for, was the tenacious resolve to keep doing what they did, while paying no heed to pessimists. Like them, I hope you ignore crummy thoughts of self-doubt and do what really matters to you.

Good vibes always,


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