Since my childhood, I was coddled and cosseted by my parents and grand-parents. As a result, I’d unintentionally fanned the notion of being everyone’s favorite and hence grew my nascent version of “Philautia”. Also, my mother instilled in me my life’s Mantra which acts as my holy grail still now you can never pour from an empty cup, always love yourself first. Rest will follow.
Then came the fateful day, when an unrequited love resulted in my face being incinerated. As an acid-attack victim my disfigured face scared the bejesus out of almost every stranger.
During the initial days, my world shivered and cracked; it hurled hot ashes that petrified me. The drifting cinders singed my skin. Repeatedly I stumbled and fell, which undoubtedly left story-telling scars. No matter how many times I was slammed to the hard, ruthless, unforgiving ground, I forced myself to get up and keep walking because something within insisted that I do so.
They even removed all the mirrors from my room, lest I’d be terrified at a glimpse of my reflection. But I was adamant to not let contempt towards my appearance breed worthlessness.
At the slightest pretext I’d watch ‘her’ in my stainless-steel plates. To me ‘she’ was still clear sans any scars and radiating optimism.
I kept looking for answers, why me? The answers weren’t forthcoming and the thought of a relentless journey ahead nibbled away chunks of my resilience and will-power. Nonetheless, ‘she’ with her luminous eyes compelled me to keep walking with undaunted vigor and to start pursuing my passion. The jaded tears froze halfway, giving way to my life’s purpose.
I’d always wanted to be a part of the Journalism industry, which had intrigued me since I was a child.
Today as the recipient of Ramon Magsaysay Award for outstanding contribution to Journalism; I’m a known face as the CEO of reputed news channel “Daily Mirror 24/7”
I realized once you’re capable of loving yourself with your total internal reflection you’ll be able to offer a lightning-fast broadband of positivity, hope and certitude.
The mirrors don’t scare me anymore. After all, I’m reflected in my “Daily Mirror 24/7” better than in any other mirror. Just because Maa sowed within me the seed of Philautia as a child, I was able to nurture it.
Albeit sometimes it did wither, I never allowed that plant of self-love to turn lifeless. After all, self-love is about shoving away the impediments that stand in between your dreams and yourself. To me self-love is not something I felt once in a while, to me it is something I’ve diligently practiced regularly.
To me Philautia is about seeking a calm, tranquil reflection of my inner soul, believing in myself and loving myself without any prejudices which has helped me overcome the darkest nights with rock-shattering power.