Tell someone they are beautiful

There is something stirring in the youth of today. The older generations have grown up and are being told to take any opportunity to get out and find opportunity elsewhere. We ourselves have heard the resonance of these warnings but they have started to become muted as we see with our own eyes how much potential our country has to offer.

Sri Lanka has an awful malady of being under-marketed. We are all conscious of what is available for offer and yet we question why we are not doing better, why our resources are not marketed better. The problem lies with each and every one of us.

How can anyone stand up and shout with pride about something they have when all they will meet is the annoyance, even hatred, of others who are affronted at this person who dares to be proud of their achievements. We are stuck in a postcolonial rut in our attitudes of ‘every person for themselves’, all clawing their way up the same ladder to achieve something and kicking everyone else backwards.

We may not believe that we ourselves are such ‘discouraging’ or ‘negative’ forces but by being neutral we are causing just as much damage. Everyone needs encouragement to be able to rise to their full potential – you cannot believe in yourself if no one believes in you enough to give you a break.

We should all be proud of whatever we have achieved. Moreover, we should be proud and congratulatory when another countryman does well. We can only move forward as a nation when we help each other to move in the same direction. This is the attitude that is stirring in the youth today and that needs to be nourished and encouraged.

Most of us are lucky that we at least have family and friends who believe in us and will encourage us. Yet there are plenty of others who have lived lives being told that they are nothing but a burden to society. If we cannot see the potential in another person then the problem lies with us, not them.

Throw your self-consciousness to the winds. Tell someone they are beautiful and intelligent; congratulate them on some personal attribute that you genuinely like about them. Anyone who has received a compliment from a stranger knows how fantastic it feels; if you don’t, then try it yourself and see the other person’s reaction!

This column was written by a STITCH volunteer to learn more about the organisation log on to -www.stitchmovement.com

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