Who am I ?

All of us spend our life time discovering ourselves every day. Some of us overestimate our prowess while others underestimate our potential. The truth could lie somewhere in between. Those who think that they have all the answers to the questions of life may be mistaken. Others who wonder why do they only get the tough questions in life, are also under an illusion.

Life has its interesting ways of balancing itself for us. The day we overestimate ourselves and tend to get arrogant, there could be a turn in our life when one would realize that you do not know the answer to the question. It is like you have topped the class right through school and college but are not able to top the batch in your organisation as a trainee. It is then you realize that theory and practise are related to each other but at the same time quite different.

On the other hand, you struggle in life but have always been humble and grounded and when you are almost willing to give up, life has its way of rewarding your hard work. It realizes that your patience has been tested and you need to be recognised. After a stressful wait, you may get a promotion in your career quite out of the blue or be selected to lead a project, which you only dreamt of till that day.

One more learning from my life is that everyone contributes in our life. If at all one reaches the top echelons of an organisation and forgets the contributions made by all the people around them to what they are today in life, they are simply ungrateful. It is not education, position in a organisation or hierarchy in society which determines your value. It is your “Humanness” and your ability to contribute to the life of others, which does.

Many of us who think that we have arrived in life because we have achieved success in our career may be mistaken. We also should realize that every human being around us is contributing to our success. I recently was watching a reality music programme, wherein a young girl was contesting. After she was selected in the trials, when asked where she came from, she narrated her story. She said she belonged to a remote city in India and did not even have the money to travel to Mumbai, where the contest was being held. Her father who runs a cycle shop drove a cycle for five consecutive days in a village fair to earn money as an exibhitionist so that he could finance her trip.

If this girl becomes a super star singer tomorrow and forgets the contributions of her father then she would never arrive in her life. The great people in the world contribute much more to the greatness of others then themselves. While all of us may talk of Gandhi, it may be interesting to reflect that Gandhi’s greatness was not just his personality but his ability to influence the thinking of millions around the world.

There are many people around us, who may be equally qualified or even less but contribute much more than us towards others. We do not value them. The day we realize that everyone’s contribution in our life is unique and valuable , we may arrive to some extent. The day we realize that we have an obligation to give back to society as much as we have got from it, if not more, then we may have arrived.

My wife in the photo above as my partner in life has contributed more to me and my family than we ever realize. We are grateful to her.

S Ramesh Shankar

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