Whenever I watch movies like Million Dollar Baby, Chak De India, The Soloist or read Harry Potter, what moves me most is the faith that the mentors show in their respective protegees. Frankie Dunn, who saw potential in the raw but passionate boxer, Maggie and stuck by her until the very end. Kabir Khan, who believed in a team of underdogs who, on the outset, looked like they were getting nowhere. Steve Lopez, who even took a solid punch from the schizophrenic musical genius Nathaniel Ayers because he had faith that he was something special. Albus Dumbledore, who put his entire faith in an awkward and bad-tempered young teen, Harry Potter, to finish off the darkest wizard of all times. These are mentors who put everything at risk just to see their pupil/protegee/friend succeed.
And then I look at reality and realize that this only happens in fiction. It is very difficult to find someone who will have unequivocal and undemanding faith in you, and will believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself. In fact it’s just very rare to see a person having faith in someone else at all. As our society and the world around us becomes more and more jungle like, with the ‘survival of the fittest’ motto creeping even into families, self-preservation is becoming our no.1 priority. We put ourselves above everything and everyone, and trust no one. Practically, this works. It keeps you from being pushed around. But that being said, relationships and family have lost their meaning, because a relationship cannot sustain itself without trust and neither can a family. All I see now are fake relationships where everything exists for namesake, without any true emotion.
I’m a dancer, on my way to become a professional one. Despite my passion and talent, I have my baggage and it comes along with me with each step I take. I can’t get rid of it, I just have to figure out how to reach my goal despite it being a part of me. But there are times when I can’t always shove it aside and it comes to the forefront, and those are the times when I long for someone to show faith in me. I long for my mentor to not, for once, think about the future of the company or the outcome of a show or what the other members are saying – and just tell me that I rock and I will make it. Because honestly, I have enough stuff bringing me down already.
But that has never happened. I have never felt supported. I’m always left feeling guilty and clutching at straws to not lose my spot. I struggle harder, apologize more, make promises I know I won’t keep and plough on, thinking that I’ll work it out eventually. After all this time though, I’ve realized how deep I’ve sunk in my pool of guilt and it has become my staple response to everything. I now believe my talent isn’t worth anything, and have considered giving up more times than I can remember.
Anyway, this is not a rant. Even if it’s something personal, it’s not exclusive to me. I’ve come across too many people who gave up on something because no one showed any faith, or lost all self-esteem because no one would believe in them, or constantly double-questioned themselves because no one took their word for things. If I trust a friend, I trust her/him with my life, or I don’t trust at all. Anything in between is convenient and a survival tactic. So I choose to have one true friend instead of fifty half-true ones. I have faith that my worst won’t deter our relationship, have faith that my friend will trust me when no one will and that she will tell me that I have it in me even when I’m a loser hiding in my bathroom. And that, folks, is enough.