A few months back I saw a movie in the theatre. Yes, with a baby who chose to be absolutely fascinated with big adults on a big screen and the unlimited nursing that he had access to!


As I walked out of the theatre, I looked at my husband and said – “ The movie was OK, nothing too special.”


I pondered that night. Was the movie just ‘meh’ or did I think it was okay. On the surface, they both appear to be the same statement but after peeling one layer, I realized that these weren’t the same things.


When I said that the movie was not too special, I made a sweeping generalization on the movie which was an absolutely narrow way of looking at a piece of art that had thousands of hours of hard work, dedication and love poured into it. The movie wasn’t good or bad, the movie was the movie. Sure, I didn’t like it but that had nothing to do with what the movie was. It was simply my opinion, my feedback and what the movie did for me and I needed to say just that – “ I didn’t like the movie.” Now, if someone absolutely loved the experience and said the movie was fantastic, did the movie suddenly become fantastic? No, once again, the movie was just that, the movie.


As I reflected, I realized I am so quick to label the thing instead of recognizing that I am trying to articulate my feelings, my emotions, and my responses. Could I have said – I didn’t like the grilled sandwich vs. the restaurant and food wasn’t good. I didn’t relate to the author vs. the author doesn’t know how to write.


It is our opinions, our beliefs, our emotions, our feelings that create impressions of what art, music, design is believed to be and we need to exercise more discernment between the works of art and what that work does for us. When we label pieces of work, we create limitations in our own mind on the possibilities of impact & influence of someone’s work. By acknowledging our own opinions as just that, our opinions, we can create a space for different ideas & views to co-exist and increase our ability to value our differences and the collective richness that adds into our worlds.


Do you agree or think differently?


What did you think of this post? Note: I am not asking HOW was this post but rather what did this evoke for you:-)


  1. Ema Phelps says:

    Neha, I love this post! I believe as parents that we need to remember this keenly when offering our children praise. I cringe when I hear “good girl/boy”, when the reinforcement that our children need is to recognize their achievements, a ‘job well done’ acknowledgement. I fear the opposite can be learned that if not ‘good’ at something that they may believe they are a failure or bad, gah! I hope that kids can learn to celebrate their accomplishments and to grow from their mistakes. Anyway, that is what this post brought to the surface for me, how praise, or reject, can have a greater impact than we may realize. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.