Monday 10 June 2019

Beautiful Ugliness

Last week, I watched most of the ODI played between India and South Africa.  Thanks to my son being in England that day & being among the audience at Southampton; possibility of catching him live glued me more to the match than the pace of the match or my general levels of indifference to cricket. Following day the Economic Times carried an article on the match with a heading “Rohit struggled and batted ugly against South Africa, but that was probably his best innings NEVER GIVE UP”.

It was an innings where Rohit struggled for over an hour before he found form to score.  But in that one hour when the balls were proving elusive, he managed to give up on his ego and didn’t mind looking ugly.  It takes courage to let vulnerability of one’s ugly side pop out and stay focused on the long-term goal.  Rohit didn’t mind looking ugly. For, he knew that with Shikhar Dhawan & Virat Kohli back in pavilion his survival was most important for India to stay in the game.

Picasso's  Old Woman  (1901)
How often have you let your ugly side take front stage?  Think about it -- as a parent, as an understanding spouse, as a boss who leads her team or as a mentor who is keen about insightful learning or growth of her mentee.  In each of these relationships you play the role of a leader, particularly when you are committed to a goal large than yourself.  It is a type of leadership that is not about titles, status and power over others. 

Often  in these situations you dare to lead without fear of rejection by others.  The sight of your goal and associated accountability perhaps brings out your best foot forward.  The tentativeness of your steps not withstanding you continue to be on crease to face the rough & tough bowling. In these situations, people often find courage to ask difficult questions to oneself and others.  Holding courageous conversations with significant others, unmindful to their ugly side popping up.  I am sure many of you reading this have done the courageous act of showing up your vulnerable side in personal as well as professional life. 

Please do commemorate your perceived ugliness of the most laudable moments and best contributions you may have made to someone’s world.  How about sharing something here to inspire others and encourage people to own up & celebrate their Beautiful ugliness.

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