Who is a Guru ? Someone who teaches you something in life. It could be your teacher in the classical sense of the word. But, in my view, it could be anyone around you. I would like to explore people in my life, who have always taught me something. I am every grateful to them and I would call them “Gurus in my life”.
Let me start with my family. My parents taught me simple living and groundedness. My father taught me patience and my mother resourcefulness. My spouse taught me organising my life. My daughter taught me hard work and my son has taught me to live life king size every day.
If I look at my career, there are innumerable people in my life, who have taught me many things. My first boss taught me magnanimity and selflessness. My colleagues have taught me almost everything I learnt in my career. Whether it is learning about computers when I first used them in the late eighties or about apps which I use them today.
My friends have made me what I am today. I remember my first days in my career, when one of my best friends of my life evolved and he taught me what fairness and humanness is all about. Some friends have made me experience giving without expecting anything in return. Others have taught me as how you could be around for someone without even physically being there.
If you look at the place you live, you realise that the people who work in your community teach you something every day. My house help has taught me to live life smilingly irrespective of all challenges you face. Another person has taught me how to be creative with the available resources you have and only mind is a limiting factor to our imagination.
I have learnt a lot from the public at large and even from people whom I have not met a second time again in my life. I remember travelling with a sportsperson once and he taught me how to learn from failures. I learnt how one could serve the community without expecting anything in return from many people in public life.
I have learnt a lot from politicians too although we generally think they are useless people. I have learnt how one could be a great orator if you can master a subject of your liking. I have learnt how one could serve your constituency to the best of your ability even though you may not have all the resources to support you always.
I have learnt a lot from animals too. A Labrador at home as a pet taught me loyalty, gratitude and selfless behaviour. Birds teach me to live life frugally every day. The cats teach me how you can keep your environs clean all the time. The bees teach me how you can contribute to others without expecting anything in return.
Life is a teacher. Everyone around you – human or otherwise teaches you something or the other. It is upto us to learn. A good student can learn from anyone. Age, experience or vocation is not a qualification for a teacher. It is the genuineness of the student and the eagerness to learn, which makes anyone a teacher for you. Our ability to observe and our willingness to submerge our egos may make us learn from everyone around us.
As in the photo above, our parents are our first Gurus in life and will always be for our life time.
Let us learn to be good followers. Teachers will always find us.
S Ramesh Shankar
30th May 2020