They asked, “Where are you from?”
All smiles, we answered, “I am born and brought up in…””
The sense of belonging that makes you smile every time you answer this question is what makes hometowns special.
When you were there, did you visit your school, where you first learned what rainbows looked like? Or crossed the streets where you scraped your knees cycling with your friends? How about your favourite picnic spot where you made the most beautiful memories?
So much would have changed about these places now.
Maybe your primary school is now using smartboards to show rainbows to children. And those streets where you used to play might have been taken over by supermarkets. Over the years, the places where we grew up, the cities and towns that moulded our sensibilities in life, have sure changed a lot. However, our values and fundamentals are still rooted in these humble beginnings – or as we call them now, our hometowns.
This World Cities Day, here’s cherishing the five unique values that we have learnt or picked up in some way from our hometowns.
Less really is more
The comfort of home-cooked food, the ease of being able to wander around the town without any google navigation, the joy of being in your own skin – these are some of the simple pleasures that are a part of life in our hometowns. While the big cities have an obvious advantage when it comes to enabling an environment suited for work and study, our hometowns add the lens of simplicity to our perspective. They help us in appreciating the little things that keep us sane through the sometimes chaotic urban life.
Cheering for each other is never out of fashion
Cheerleading is an art that we probably learnt first hand from our parents when they celebrated even our small achievements with great pride and joy. Whether it was scoring big in our exams or winning at the annual sports day or grabbing a prize at the fancy dress competition – memories of these milestones have stayed with us through the years. And they have taught us the value of appreciation. A skill that goes a long way when you are navigating professional life in all its glory.
Supporting is a way of life
Coaching, mentoring, collaborating – if you notice, all these oft-used terms have their origin in the simple practices of our hometowns. From the smallest of gestures – like that time when someone offered to babysit you when your parents were away – to being there for each other in challenging times, supporting each other has been a way of life in our hometowns.
Just think about it. Hasn’t your mom ever asked you to provide career advice to the younger ones still finishing their schools? Or your next-door uncle sought your help to guide their kids when they landed a job in your city? If you look back, there would be so many instances of people who supported you and now look up to you as their support system.
Hard work is always rewarding
If you think about it, much like our professional incentives these days, when we were young, getting permission to visit the local fair or school picnics was all dependent on our efforts at the academic front. So, in a way, we have picked up the skills of convincing and negotiation right from these childhood experiences. The more sincere and dedicated you are, the better rewards you get. In retrospect, however, these little reinforcements were all fun. They pushed us to stay goal-oriented and enjoy the gifts of hard work.
Happiness lies in small things
Next time you visit your hometown, ask yourself this question – what makes people in these places happy and would they be happier if they had more than what they have today? If you introspect, the answer might surprise you. You might realize that happiness is a choice these people have made. And it’s a choice we can make too, regardless of where we live. Weren’t we happy playing our outdoor games, soaking in the sun, and getting dirty in the mud? Happiness is what we choose and not chase. And more often than not, it can be found in the smallest and simplest of things in life.
As you read this, I hope these nostalgic memories bring a smile to your face. And inspire you to stay rooted and connected with the ideals that you imbibed from the place you call your hometown. In fact, feel free to mix it up and experiment – add that secret ingredient from your hometown’s cuisines and let the aroma fill up your heart and senses. The same applies to your life as well! Pick up that one ingredient to success you learnt from your hometown and let it guide you in your journey through life.
We would love to hear stories about your hometown.
Where are you from? And what’s the most wonderful value you have learnt from your hometown? Tell us in the comments below.
This article is written by Vidushi Bhatia, Senior Manager – User Experience
A PR-professional-turned-Storyweaver, Disha loves people, conversations and all things extra. Anything to do with creating amazing experiences for employees and raising the coolness factor of the workplace - she's up for it! Other than running the show for Life At BYJU'S, Disha is a massive Bollywood fan, doggo videos addict and the biggest Ranveer Singh fan ever. Do reach out to her at [email protected], if you have ideas and thoughts to add fun quotient in your workplace. She would love to drive them for you
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