Kiran Bedi was born in a time that didn’t belong to girls, she says. Her father almost lost his inheritance by making the bold move in the 1950s to educate Kiran and her three sisters. This foundation helped Kiran become a national tennis champ and a police chief who radically changed the prison system.
Her life almost sounds like a myth. She had every reason to believe she couldn’t succeed in a male-dominated world and couldn’t change behavior and mindsets in a broken prison system.
Two things Kiran’s parents taught her:
- Life is on an incline. You either go up or you come down.
- The 90/10 rule.
The 90/10 Rule
Kiran says 100 things will happen in your life, good or bad. Out of 100, 90 are your creation. If they’re good, you can enjoy them. If they’re bad, you can learn from them. The other 10 are out of your control — deaths, hurricanes and the like. You can control only the way you respond to them.
Making Something Out of Nothing (or 0+1=10)
Kiran worked in a prison system that had no budget, no resources and no support. She responded by rejecting the status quo. She broke down the we/they mentality between prison employees and prisoners. She rallied volunteers and prisoners to start teaching classes. She rallied community support to amass books, stationery and other donated supplies.
She changed the prison paradigm. Because she didn’t accept the false truths thrown upon her.
I’m writing my own life story, and you’re writing yours. Sometimes the haters come in and try to write yours for you. Sometimes the voices in your head, the unpleasant memories try to take the pen from your hand and write your story. Sometimes you’ve accepted the victimizing myths about yourself that someone or some circumstance tried to throw on you.
Kiran reminds us that we can take back the pen and forge ahead. You can teach yourself and others how to make something out of nothing.