Put on your costume

Vesti la Guibba, put on your costume, is an aria from Ruggero Leoncavallo‘s 1892 opera ‘Pagliacci’, in which a clown has been informed that his beloved is dead but is nevertheless expected to perform. He is asked to put on his costume, go on stage, and make the audience laugh. ‘Vesti la Guibba‘ has become a powerful metaphor to face whatever life has to offer and to never wallow in self-pity.Self-pity is a pit in which we can so easily fall in. Whenever we fail to achieve what we are striving for; when we are let down by friends, we’re overcome by a feeling of ‘I deserve better’. We start to feel sorry for ourselves. All we see is our own self. Self-pity makes one bitter, resentful, inward looking, a lesser person. You do not want to know your faults that led to the rejection and end up never correcting your mistakes. There is a rejection theory which suggests that you go and make outlandish requests to strangers – ‘Will you please give me ₹20,000?’ – you know are bound to be refused either politely or, more often, angrily, as a method of learning to cope with disappointments. One needs to have a thick skin and mental resolve to keep getting repeatedly rejected and be none the worse for it.

It would make so much more sense to recognise the sign of drowning in self-pity that typically involves blaming everybody else, and to have faith in yourself, in your strengths, be spiritually strong and to go right ahead and put on your costume and stride in the world with confidence.


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