Society

Life lessons from #Okayboomers

Towards the end of 2019 on social media, #OkayBoomer began trending in a big way. The hashtag was meant as a derisive term that millennials used on people born in the couple of decades after World War II. In a classic inter-generational clash, Baby Boomers felt those born between 1983 and 1994 were spoilt and lazy, while millennials felt their seniors were just out of touch with the world. The truth is that the older generation is enjoying one of the most carefree periods of their lives, being active and healthy enough to enjoy retirement. Here are life lessons from those who have been on the planet longer than millennials and Gen X-ers.

Ejji K Umamahesh, 71, Chennai

“Don’t be perfect; just be you”

Life lessons from #Okayboomers

Do everything that you are told not to, declares Ejji K Umamahesh, who takes off on challenging car rallies around the globe. His motto is not to worry about life after death, but to live it well (and not just exist) before you die. “I have led a tumultuous life of experimentation and rebellion. My way of leaving a mark is to experience life on my own terms regardless of what the world thinks of me,” he says. “You should be significant and different — even if it is of little relevance — so that people miss you and not just remember you,” says Ejji.

His self-help instructions: “Alienate yourself from prudes, sanctimonious fools, hypocrites, puritans, bluenoses, wet blankets, those with low self-esteem, overly sensitive idiots, morons with no sense of humor, human beings with irrational religious beliefs and fossilised humans who have not changed.”

Enjoy being young — feel, act and look young. Skill is not just about repairing an aircraft. It is also about making a parotta. “Once you understand this , you will never be unhappy,” says Ejji.

Bina Rajasingh, 65, Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu

“Wear the lipstick”

Life lessons from #Okayboomers

Drop that hesitation and dress up, says Bina Rajasingh, a woman known for starting the first beauty parlour, swimming pool, bakery and zumba dance classes for women in her town, otherwise famous for firecrackers. She refuses to slow down either her Rotary club activities and other charities or her enjoyment of old English classic and Hindi film songs.

A month ago, she walked into a hospital for a kidney stone removal surgery all dressed, with bright red lipstick in place. The nurse couldn’t believe it. “She told me to bring the patient and I told her I was the patient,” says Bina, laughing. “I guess the lipstick did it and I was treated as a VIP, gently put on the stretcher and wheeled into the theatre. I gave the staff a royal wave while my son accompanying me was in splits.”

How you present yourself outwardly makes a lot of difference, says Bina. “Inside I may be hell nervous, but light make-up, chin up and a smile with a glowing lipstick helps me to face anything. I am ready for the world and so can you.”

Maaney Paul, 59, Kochi

“Remember the power of the mind”

Life lessons from #Okayboomers

Maaney Paul is a motivational speaker, mind trainer for the Indian Special Protection Group. He’s also the father of Malayalam actress Pearle Maaney. He says it’s best to keep your mind always alert and active. “If it is on 1G you cannot download anything; always keep it on 4G,” he says. In other words, if you are happy, you are a better performer. But if you are unhappy, your body becomes sick.

Maaney cites the example of a tennis player on court who has multiple options to play the game and is able to decide on the correct shot within microseconds and stay on top of the game because he plays it with an alert mind and not just the body. “Nothing can beat the power of your mind. Keep talking to yourself that you are the best and nothing will be impossible to achieve,” he says. If somebody shows bitterness towards you, tell yourself it’s their opinion, not yours. The mind is like a child who listens and believes every story you create.

Ashutosh Vaidya, 57, IT professional, Bengaluru

“Follow your calling”

Life lessons from #Okayboomers

“I never feel tired after running a marathon, instead I experience a fresh wave of energy and enthusiasm,” says Ashutosh Vaidya, who started running marathons after he hit his 50s. After a long day’s work, you eagerly attend a concert, jump, dance, sing, clap and scream. Why? It is the thrill of doing something that you like. “It is not the quantum but the work you enjoy doing that takes away burden and stress . Anything that is a burden is not worth it.” Happiness is a matter of individual perception. “Find yours!” he says.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 2:33:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/life-lessons-from-okayboomers/article30432144.ece

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