A few months ago, I wanted to start a project and was told by some ‘friends’ that it was a waste of my time. I went ahead anyway. I realized then, and I see it even more clearly now as the ‘tall poppy syndrome’. It’s the habit of putting down people who are showing any hint of being clever or successful.

In India, we all saw this syndrome on display by politicians across parties knocking down the whole Aam Aadmi Movement. It would never work, they said. It does, and it did. Granted they’ve had only minor political success so far, but the movement has hit politicians where it hurts!

Today, I saw evidence of this syndrome once again in the Indian blogosphere. Someone decided that it was alright to publish a part of another blogger’s post and a comment from that blog publicly on their Facebook page and ridicule it. All this in the name of honesty!

We all poke fun of others from time to time. I do it too and it’s not something I’m proud of.Β However to constantly be cynical, to pick on people who can’t Β or won’t fight back because they are too new or too young to, and to be mean in the name of honesty is something I do not appreciate. I have just one word for someone like that: bully!

My response to such a person is to cut them out of my circle. I do not want to be constantly listening to someone whinging about the world and everything else. I realize too that such people are insecure and want popularity at all costs!

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And to the people who’ve been picked upon, and I know at least two of you, here’s my two bits of wisdom – for what it’s worth.

I recall the words of Oscar Wilde ‘ A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.’ Remember, such people have never really done anything to make a difference. They just moan and grumble about things. Some people don’t want you to change, to grow, to find your way in the world. They just sit on the sidelines taking potshots at anyone who they see becoming a threat to them in some way. Know when it’s time to move on from them.

Surround yourself with people who want you to grow – who will give you genuine feedback and will be there to help you when you’re down.

And most of all – be yourself. Stick to what you believe in. Don’t try to please everyone, and end up displeasing the one person who matters the most – YOU.