Editorial Comment: Dare to be different
29 April, 2018, 2:16 pm
TWO reports we carry today on page four definitely should be drawn to our attention. Not because they carry a new message but because they carry a significant truth which has little or no impact on some of us because we are so familiar with the way it goes.
One of them talks about a girl who would not let the way society had structured things, including mind-sets, to get in the way of what she wanted.
Every so often, we now hear about a girl or woman who has made it in a male-dominated field so that piece of news is definitely not earth-shattering.
Sana Shazreen Nisha said there were challenges on the way to her being named the best student in the School of Science and Technology during the University of Fiji’s graduation ceremony on Friday.
What we want to highlight are the challenges for those who are unlike Sana, for those of us who have allowed society to dictate the way we look at things to the extent where we will not dare to question why certain things are the way they are.
Often we talk about society being too rigid in the way certain things are done and/or viewed without realising that we are the very ones who constitute that society.
We are the ones who reinforce an existing discriminatory view? What will make us change such views?
A good starting would be to recognise that we all have unique talents and gifts which we can contribute to the betterment of our family, community and the larger group as a whole.
In addition, it would be beneficial if we told ourselves that talents are not endowed because one is of a certain gender.
In this instance, to be able to think outside the box, so to speak. One does have to be a girl of a woman to be a good cook, nor does one have to be a boy or a man to be a very capable farmer.
The other article is also about a graduate of the University of Fiji, Rajvindar Singh Dhesi.
He did not allow the fact that he, being the son of a farmer, should not aspire to be the best in the university.
Often, people will think that since they come from a certain background, they should not aspire to be anything else.
Why not? We should all constantly be striving to be better than those who went before us; parents, grandparents etc.
If a son or daughter of a farmer is content to be a farmer, why not take it a step or two further?
That is the challenge for all of us, to be able to recognise that there is one among us who does not fit the mould and the conviction to nurture that person to be the unique individual she or he was meant to be.
Yes, there are accepted norms of behaviour etc for the good of society. It is when norms restrict us that we should dare to be different.