Substance first. Attitude later.

As part of my journalistic job that covers all beats including movies,
sports, politics, crime, etc, I have to often deal with young people.
I also conduct guest lectures at various colleges and institutions,
which gives me an opportunity to interact with youngsters. And I
really enjoy these meets, it gives me a chance to discover first hand
what Young India thinks and feels. And while I admire the ambition,
the adrenalin and the energy, I also get alarmed when I notice young
people with, what we often disparagingly call, an ‘attitude problem’.
The belligerent, arrogant, ‘I know it all’ outlook to the world. The
attitude that reflects scant respect for seniority and experience. For
just about anything, for that matter.

Usually, this attitude appears pretty cute and cool. After all, who
wants our young people to be subservient, low self-esteemed and
unconfident? That’s so damn boring! We want our guys to be bubbling
with passion and the ‘can do’ spirit. However when the ‘attitude
problem’ is taken to an extreme level, it can get very infuriating and
off putting.

Without intending to be preachy, here’s a word of advice for Gen X:
While it’s great to have an attitude, it must be channelised into your
work and NOT into your inter personnel interactions. Also, while
attitude should reflect confidence in one’s abilities, it becomes
self-defeating when it extends to closing one’s mind to other people
and other ideas.

Lemme illustrate this with some examples. Both, Sachin Tendulkar and S
Sreesanth have an ‘attitude problem’. While Sachin employs that
attitude into his batting skills, Sreesanth uses it to provoke and
offend his rivals and team mates. Who do you respect more? Who of the
two will achieve more in life? Who do you want to be like? Only you
can answer these questions.

Here’s another one: If Hrithik Roshan throws attitude at you, how will
you react? And if Harman Baweja does ditto, how will you react?
Chances are, quite differently. Perhaps it’s a good idea to prove your
worth, do something substantial in life, before baring your fangs? Bad
attitude display from a nobody, a non-achiever, is even more difficult
to deal with. And if you are wondering who Harman Baweja is, then that
only proves my point.

Finally, I am quite aware a few of you, after reading this piece, will
react with: “Oh, come on man, who the hell is this old fart to tell me
what I should do and think? I know my shit and don’t want an uncle to
lecture me.”

Well, okay, it’s your life after all. Good luck!

anil thakraney