Students, want to express your ire in healthy ways? Coach AB has effective suggestions to offer

Our beloved Coach AB is back with another set of motivational mantras and this time, he deliberates on ways to express oneself so the message is loud and clear
Expressing disagreement sensibly | (Pic: EdexLive)
Expressing disagreement sensibly | (Pic: EdexLive)

Hey, people! After a brief pause, I have returned, and that too with a bang!

This time the discussion will be on an aspect that we must be aware of in life that is — Choosing the right mode of expression and voicing our opinion in the most effective yet assertive way possible sans any violence, controversial behaviour, or any other mode that sparks unrest or can have a negative implication.

It may be even more important in present times due to a heightened sensitivity toward issues, as a mere mention, reference, or portrayal of certain entities can spark controversy, often leading to chaos.

Coach asks, are there better ways to express?
A point that I would like to lay some emphasis on is that none of you should back down or stay hushed when you need to express your feelings or fight for a cause, but we can shift our focus on using strategies that may be the right fit and can help efficiently convey the message, that too without ruffling any feathers.

It's quite understandable that students, or anyone for that matter, feel strongly about how they are portrayed in media or public discourse. However, resorting to violent protests may not always be the best way to express dissent.

We all acknowledge that freedom of expression is our fundamental right and everyone has the right to express their opinions, thoughts, and ideas. However, it comes with an equal responsibility of ensuring that the right example is set hence, it's best to do it in a healthy manner without resorting to extreme measures. But how? Here are a few suggestions!

Coach stresses, PRO-ACT rather than REACT!
The funda is simple, peeps! All you have to do is to think how parents think about a threatening situation, rather than a child. When I mentioned the word "parent" I meant, an adult, that too a responsible one. Think for a while about how they would respond, and then choose how to proceed with the situation after self-deliberation.

Irrespective of how angry you are, keep the larger picture in mind rather than just reacting immediately. You need to be able to ascertain the long-term implications of your actions and whether it's in line with the message that you're trying to deliver, or an end goal that you may want to achieve.

Here are some pointers on how to be PROACTIVE when such a scenario arises

1. Focus on the solution rather than just highlighting the problem
The problem or the issue at hand, although evident, is usually not thought about thoroughly. Hence, a proactive way would be to avoid theatrics and deliberate what needs to be done or focus on who is available to hear your message.

2. Create the narrative in a correct tone as to why you feel you have been wronged
It's quite easy to blow things out of proportion in case you feel you have been wronged but it can appear as a kid throwing a tantrum and neither exhibits maturity nor proactiveness. The narrative of the message that you are trying to put across has to make people sit up, take notice, and introspect, which shall lead to a realisation that will make them understand and empathise with you. Now, that's an impact! And that's what we need to achieve.

3.  Be wary of how your actions speak louder than words and whether the action would lead to the right outcome
Let me illustrate this point by taking an example of a situation that unfolded at a prestigious university. Students protested against the release of a movie and burnt effigies of the director as a display of their resentment against the movie. The students firstly, could have taken a step to increase awareness and justify in what way they have been maligned. The burning of an effigy and the protests have, in a way, made the public more curious about the movie, and could have possibly believed the popular narrative at play. Now, one can give it a thought and understand if this worked in the favour of the students. Was this reaction or pro-action? A thing to think.

Coach says, What can be done?
Apart from having a proactive thought process, there are a few things that can be done to ensure that we express dissent in a healthy mode.

1. Silence Speaks volumes!
Being loud does not always give us the required results. Silence speaks volumes too and so do peaceful protests, silent marches, along with effective visual aids, placards, and sign boards might have a more significant impact and can be explored. Also, if available at your disposal, you can get creative and use the latest tech, gadgets, and gizmos available at your disposal to amplify your message.

2. Keep your friends close, but...
I strongly discourage considering anyone as an enemy and always advise against harbouring animosity. Sometimes what can be done is engagement with those having opposing views and being accommodating of their perspective, which not only helps to achieve a common ground faster but also equips you to address the same concerns much more effectively in the future as you shall be prepared. Remember! Engage in respectful and positive discussions/debates.

3. Social Medi-Yeah!
One cannot deny the effectiveness of social media in spreading a message, so ensure that you use social media to the best extent to drive your message across while ensuring that there is nothing lewd, unparliamentary, or explicit, that targets or bullies an individual or organisation, which is against the rules of the land and goes against the sanctity of any individual.

Lastly, it is important to remember that actions speak louder than words! It's equally important to show the world that you're a doer and not just a poser. Do your best to initiate action. But it is equally important to be verbose about it. This not only motivates more people and encourages involvement but also garners support to amplify the message in the right manner.

As I conclude, I would be most happy if we all could strive to express ourselves in a way that is healthy, respectful, effective, and impactful. As our words have the power to shape the world around us, why not use them wisely? Let's not get carried away by factors or situations that help us express ourselves in unhealthy ways to impress those who might be the reason why we suppress our feelings, to begin with!

Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj
"The Coach"

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