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The Pygmalion Effect

by Akshaya Chandar

August 6, 2022

Not many may know - the ancient Greek mythological tale of Pygmalion, has been a source of inspiration for more than a hundred works of literature, and about fifty films and plays. To refresh, Pygmalion was the prince of Cyprus and was a great sculptor. He creates an ivory statue of a woman so passionately that he gets obsessed with it. He prays to god for the statue to come alive and the God grants him the same! The Pygmalion is one of the most famous plays by George Bernard Shaw. The wisdom passed down to generations that a strong will can induce life even in a rock. George Bernard Shaw put the same prophecy in the play, and it was also created in the musical composition 'My Fair Lady'.

Today we refer to the concept, that a person will achieve or perform as he is expected to perform as "The Pygmalion Effect". The main idea concerning The Pygmalion Effect is that if you believe that someone is capable of achieving greatness then that person will indeed achieve greatness. In other words, believing in potential simply creates potential. "The Pygmalion Effect" may occur all around us-whether it be at work, at schools or even at home. Closer home, the tour of Akshardham Temple at Delhi starts with the same concept of a rock turning into a human, with the qualities that the sculptor sees in it. Here at school, we the parents and teachers can create better students, scholars and pupils just by believing in the fact that they are the best. Let that be in behavior, academics, social conduct or any such attribute. This is truer, when working with underachievers. All it takes is, really believing in this fact.

If we relate this closely, for instance, you tell a new teacher in a school - who has no previous experience with her new to be students, that a particular student of hers is extremely bright and clever. The new teacher will automatically be more supportive, more encouraging, teach more challenging material, be patient and allow that student more time to answer questions. The main concern is that this new teacher entirely believes that this student is bright and clever, and so is the converse for which we should be more careful.

If I co-relate this with my young friends, I would say-just start communicating with yourself and others, with strengths and qualities, or skills and talents. You must start focusing on all that is positive and dismiss everything that is negative. Believe in yourself and others and you will give yourself the power to change lives. Every human, including you, has strengths, qualities, attributes, talents and skills. Use it for your best advantage. If the famous octopus Paul could create history in World Cup Football by his predictions, should we talk more for humans.

Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.

#PygmalionEffect #Cyprus #Sculptor #GeorgeBernardShaw #Myfairlady #Greek

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