Understanding My Motivation
Updated: Mar 30, 2020
In these uncertain and testing times, it seemed inappropriate to carry on blogging about Halo as though nothing had happened. So this post is rather more personal than usual, and only tenuously connected to jewellery. We tend to become more introspective in times of trouble, and ask ourselves questions that we don’t have the time to ask in the day to day busy-work that we usually occupy ourselves with. So writing this post has given me a better understanding of myself, and I’m hoping it will give readers an insight not just into what Halo Jewellery does, but also what the very basic motivation behind its creation is.
I hadn’t realised how much the life my mother led, even before I was born, influenced me. She was the eldest of five children from a traditional Indian family, where the main desire was to have a son. She did have a brother, who was the fourth born, but I suspect the first three daughters were a mild disappointment to my grandparents. As a daughter, although my mother was loved by her parents, she wasn’t expected to achieve a great deal. Whether it was because of this or despite this that she developed a keenness to learn, I will never know. But nonetheless, academically she went from strength to strength, gaining three degrees in three languages, coming first in her year group every time.
She married my father, who valued education as much as she did, and this is what I mean by saying she influenced me even before I was born. Had she not been a keen learner, she may have married someone with different values, and the influences in my life could have been completely different.
Like many women of her time, she never expected her education to lead to a career of her own. She studied for no reason other than because she loved to learn. And I am eternally grateful to her for instilling that love of learning into me. Without ever being a tiger mom or expecting great results, she always ensured that I was never simply idling my time away. She taught me that learning was both interesting and important.
And by learning, I don’t necessarily mean fancy academic degrees in difficult subjects. High academic education is undoubtedly needed to fuel everything from scientific development to philosophical debate, and is a key ingredient of any civilised society. We see that so clearly with the Coronavirus pandemic, where medical research is expected to be the guiding light to take us through the crisis.
But learning and education can be simpler than that. It can be something as fundamental as understanding the basics of how our bodies work so that we have children only when we want them; or grasping simple arithmetic so that we can manage our pennies; or even learning to recognise when we are not being treated as we should be. None of these require high academic qualifications, yet the benefits are huge. Sadly, the opportunity for this kind of basic learning is denied to many, particularly girls, either due to cultural constraints or poverty. The thing to remember is that learning creates awareness and awareness gives us the ability to recognise our options. It enables financial independence, self-confidence and self-respect.
This, my desire to ensure that every girl and woman has the opportunity to learn and be aware, is the motivation behind setting up Halo Jewellery. It’s more than about the jewellery; that’s just the means to an end. Making Halo Jewellery a successful business will enable more money to be donated to charities that support women’s and girls’ education and learning. And if my dream comes true, it will eventually enable me to employ disadvantaged women so that they can earn, learn and have more options in life.
I know this post has been rather long and serious, but under the circumstances it would be frivolous to make it anything else. But as the saying goes, “this too, shall pass”, and going forward, as always, I will continue to look for the light at the end of the tunnel.
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