Published: 15th February 2021
Why you should shut up and comment: The benefits of understanding when it's your place to speak
The Coach gives us his two cents about the Rihanna controversy and tells us why we should comment on issues only when needed
I have always believed that knowing one’s weakness is one’s GREATEST STRENGTH. But just knowing about the weakness doesn’t always guarantee a smooth ride. Developing the capability and capacity to NEGATE the effects of one’s weakness tends to be a HERCULEAN task. Also, it is important to know that your INTENT and what’s perceived might be different. The only people who can understand a situation are those who have the same characteristic traits and who have ALSO been PERCEIVED WRONGLY by people around them.
Hence, a PLAYER can only be understood by ANOTHER PLAYER and never by a SPECTATOR! I use this mantra in my training sessions and it’s the best way to make people understand and realise where they stand BEFORE COMMENTING on a particular topic or issue. I decided to pursue this for our interaction this week taking into consideration RIHANNA voicing her opinion about the issues related to the protest by farmers in our country.
I have nothing against Rihanna nor am I a BHAKTH. My intention is to make us all aware of how we tend to get into a soup or UNNECESSARY controversy when we don’t realise that IT’S NOT OUR PLACE to comment about something. Even if we’re not sure and decide to DO IT ANYWAY, the most important thumb rule would be to ensure that your message is CLEAR especially when you’re an influencer. Rihanna’s tweet was very confusing as her tweet didn’t throw light on whether she was SUPPORTING the farmers or OPPOSING the disruption of internet services by the government. Greta Thunberg and Mia Khalifa also joined in and were equally vague. Greta simply said, “We stand in solidarity with the protest” and Mia termed it as a human rights violation.
The first mantra is that you should ONLY comment if you have the EXPERTISE, EXPERIENCE or EXTENSIVE EXPOSURE in that particular subject, situation or field. Yes! Everyone’s a critic and that doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to BECOME ONE!
The second mantra is to understand the COMPLETE PICTURE. Just knowing both sides of the coin isn’t enough in today’s world. We need to be able to READ BETWEEN THE LINES and understand why we have the COIN in the first place.
The third and most important mantra is to ensure that we arrive at a CONCLUSION after carefully analysing the facts incorporating a NEUTRAL, OPEN and RATIONAL point of view. If you’re sharing an OPINION too, it needs to be MADE CLEAR that IT IS YOUR OWN.
Last but not the least, remember that with great power comes great RESPONSIBILITY. Just because you are popular doesn’t mean that you MEDDLE with things that don’t concern you or affect you. This particular trait has made even the most ICONIC LEADERS FALL!
The only time I feel you can voice out confidently and without inhibitions is when you SHARE TRUE EXPERIENCES as you’ve experienced them FIRST HAND. That’s why I stick to it and do so in an attempt to ensure that others don’t repeat the same mistakes I did, which makes me communicate OPENLY!
Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj