Self-knowledge and self-awareness (at times used interchangeably) is an important characteristics of a person with sound mind that further influences the personality of the person concerned and is believed to propel growth of a person and open up doors to higher levels of intelligence and success in life. A layman’s definition of self awareness is about the ability to know what one sees, feels and reacts and self-knowledge is the factual understanding on ones character, health, weaknesses etc. leading to the subsequent control measure that one applies.
In a research by the American Management Association on executives earning 50 million to 5 billion dollars, it was found out that a higher self-awareness score was always a strong prediction for more success.
It is popularly considered that self-knowledge and self-awareness are not in-born but are attained through experiences in life but at the same time it is always a conscious effort that makes a person to know more about oneself. A conscious effort is therefore always required to know oneself better, the reason why some grow old without knowing much about oneself. In the present world, there are many tests available where one can test one’s personality and character and know where one stands. However, the easiest way to start knowing oneself is when others give their opinions or judgements of our personality and characters. If that is missing, the easiest way is to ask for frank feedback from another person that one has worked with or socialised for some time.
Coming back to the Nagaland, with the advancement in modern western education and the high literacy rate in the state, but with depreciating levels of developmental indices, a peep into the individual’s as well as the communities’ self-knowledge and self-awareness might hold the key. The mood of the people in all the forums especially the youth as individuals have either low self-esteem and low morale which turns into frenzied outbursts when in a group like the various unions and associations.
For example, of late the governor of the state has been trying to paint a true picture of the Nagas from his vantage point as a non Naga but by one who has spent most of his life working with the people of North East India. As a person who has shown intense enthusiasm and energy of working in the grassroots with the common people over the years, he had a few observations of the Nagas that just cannot and should not be shrugged off. He was the one who commented about a Naga village that had seventy plus doctors but did not have any doctor in the village health centre. He is also the one who recently asked all the tribal bodies (Hohos) to stay united at this crucial juncture of a settlement to the Indo-Naga issue. In one instance he was quite vocal reminding the citizens of the state to showcase Nagaland as a vibrant Nagaland as God has blessed her with all the talents not only in dance and drama but in every aspect of life.
Such strong statements from an outsider’s perspective should be the indicator for introspection. Unless the Nagas as individuals and as a community know our true selves; our strengths and weaknesses, it will be difficult to discard the current narratives that is shaping the future of the Nagas as a people.