Why Not Us?

In honor of recently watching A Wrinkle in Time, I decided to revisit the writing of one of my role models: Mindy Kaling. I read Kaling’s Why Not Me?, a collection of essays, two summers ago and loved every bit of it. My favorite essay is actually the last one in the book, carrying the same title, “Why Not Me?” In this essay I found my thoughts on confidence, hard work and entitlement all written down with a side of Kaling’s wit. Whenever I’m feeling down I simply read these quotations again to remind myself where hard work will take me.

 

“Entitlement is simply the belief that you deserve something.”

Kaling discusses how the concept of entitlement gets a bad rap, but it really is not so bad. With that being said, there’s a catch. When you believe you are entitled to something, you better make sure that you actually deserve it. You have to actually work towards an outcome to believe you deserve to reach your goal.

 

“I don’t understand how you can have self confidence if you don’t do the work.”

Here Kaling hits the nail right on the head. She writes that you cannot be confident in yourself if you do not do anything to improve yourself. How can you be a confident person and believe you deserve success if you are too lazy and unmotivated to even write a research paper? Confidence is like respect. You have to earn it.

 

“The economies of entire countries like Turks and Caicos are banking on US citizens hating their jobs and wanting to get away from it all.”

Labeling people as workaholics is confusing. Kaling admits that she has not met a single confident and success person that would not be labeled as a workaholic. Everyone wants to be successful, but not everybody wants to do the work. When people actually put the time and work in, we tell them they should relax.

 

“Some people feel really uncomfortable around women who don’t hate themselves.”

Kaling points out what may seem obvious, but is often overlooked. There is a difference between thinking you are the best and between respecting yourself. We need to be brave, otherwise we let every negative comment or thought traumatize us.

 

“I just sometimes get the sneaking suspicion that corporations are co-opting ‘girl confidence’ language to rally girls into buying body wash.”

We need to stop assuming that it is so hard for young girls to be confident. When we act like confidence is unattainable, we are actually making it unattainable. When we act like women do not have a right to be confident, we tell them they do not have a right to be confident; even if they have earned it.

 

And lastly:

“People get scared when you try to do something, especially when it looks like you’re succeeding. People do not get scared when you’re failing. It calms them. But when you’re winning, it makes them feel like they’re losing or, worse yet, that maybe they should’ve tried to do something too, but now it’s too late. And since they didn’t, they want to stop you. You can’t let them.”