Anil Thakraney: Save the attitude, kids

30 Jan,2012

‘By Anil Thakraney


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 on 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 channelized into your work and NOT into your interpersonal 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.


Let me 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 teammates. Whom 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!




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PS: Crew members of Finnair celebrated India’s Republic Day with a bit of dance and masti. And the video has gone seriously viral. I am quite certain the top bosses at the airline wanted exactly this to happen. I’m not sure how kicked they were about January 26th, but they must be really happy with all the free publicity. Think about how many more people know of Finnair now. Good work.


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