A few days ago, a strange thought struck me like a bucket of cold water on an even colder day!
Why do we – at TISA – call ourselves PwS, instead of the normal Stammerer, Stutterer etc. I mean PwS doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, neither does it’s big brother, Person who Stammers. I’m sure somewhere in the thousands of wonderful blog posts, this question has been thoroughly explained in a nice succinct manner but being chronically lazy, I chose to just lay down and think about it.
When I first joined TISA back in January end 2015, I just accepted it as a fact that in TISA, we refer stammerers as PwS. I never chose to question it; I must have gotten curious but I never pursued it.
But now with lots of free time on my hand, I decided to get to the bottom of it. Of course asking Dhruv, Harish or Sachin sir would have been faster, but what kind of engineer I will be if I chose the obvious solution! HA!
I did have an Eureka moment soon after I started rubbing my two remaining brain cells together but before I tell you, I want you to take a moment and think about it.
Why do we refer ourselves as PwS in TISA? Chances are you will figure out faster than me because you, my friend, are one of the most intelligent people I have ever met.
Now now, no peeking. Put your thinking caps on; if you have already figured it out, just put it on for show.
Well the answer I came to was so simple that it was beautiful.
Because Stammering does not define us. Stammering is just a tiny miniscule part of everything that makes us… us. We are People who Stammer, not the other way around. Sometimes this little fact is so elusive that we forget it.
After all, we are our harshest critics so we heavily base our opinions of ourselves on things we perceive are bad about us. We start blaming everything wrong with our life on those perceived faults. Because often times it’s the easiest solution, a convenient scapegoat to all our life problems.
“I can’t do <insert thing> because …”
“I won’t be good at <insert thing> because …”
“They will judge me because….”
After all, this reasoning solves it all. “Only if I didn’t stammer… I would be the youngest Prime Minister in the history of India and I would be the sexiest and most talented actor/actress in Bollywood”. But because we stammer, we can’t do anything.
So we never bother stepping outside our comfort zone because it’s warm and cuddly in our oh-so-protective and comforting zone. The outside world is cruel and mocking. We read about people like Winston Churchill, Hrithik Roshan etc and justify their achievements using one twisted logic or another.
I’m pretty sure almost all of us have been guilty of this, me more than anyone. But once you step up and throw caution to the wind and express yourself, you will find that the world, frankly, does not care about you most of the time. Sure some people would mock you, but then again idiots are dime a dozen.
And anyways, that’s all they can do, “mock you”. And except the ill-conceived notion of pride and ego, you loose nothing, but you gain a lot of things, most important of those being the realisation that it’s not that big of a deal. The first couple of times, the mocking hurts, but then it kinds of becomes like background noise which you can easily tune out.
Anyways coming back on topic, PwS is not just another tacky title, it’s a reminder that your stammering does not define you, that it’s a very small, miniscule part of everything that makes you… you. It’s very easy to forget this because if you let stammering define you, then life becomes deceivingly simple. But often times, simple things are not exactly right for you.
And with that, adios.
PS: Please do tell me your views and any other theory you might have on the origins of PwS.