You are here: Home > Writings > WakeUp Series

Wake up XXXIII - There is a reason to everything...

A few days back a friend told me that a couple of years ago he lost someone who was very close to him; someone he was so close to marrying but was snatched away from him forever cruelly by destiny due to circumstances that he could have probably controlled. A few years had passed but the anguish still remained. "Ah; how different life might have been", he remarked. I'm sure everyone has gone through similar emotions; you yearn for something when you don't have it and the pain is greater if you lost it after having it for a while – 'it' could be just about anything - a person or a thing.
Influenced perhaps by Dasavatharam I replied, "Everything in life happens for a reason". The movie stresses on the idea that everything that happens, even the bad, happens for a good reason. And everything that happens, however insignificant it may appear to be, will be part of something bigger - the butterfly effect. A statue that sank centuries ago might in some small way have been responsible for affecting the tsunami that came centuries later.

Looking back over numerous instances that have happened you would have the thought, "Ah ha; that's why that happened. It makes better sense now." So though things that happen today might be incomprehensible now, rest assured that it will be part of a bigger scheme of things.

If anyone answers "Simply" to your question "Why did you do it?", don't believe them – there is a reason for everything! And the next time you miss your bus, don't fret; it might just turn out to be that you avoided a boring morning meeting and happened to meet your life partner (ahem; perhaps I am stretching the theory a bit too much!)

Wake up XXXIV - Sail away from the safe harbor

I found it quite remarkable to read about a guy who quit Google. He worked in Google for over four years in some of their new applications and then switched over to another place – a smaller unknown company! Google is one of the most innovative companies in the market, it is envied by most, it has a very strong brand name and most people would love to work for there. You would think it is safe as well as lucrative to be there than anywhere else. And here is a guy who quits Google!

Maybe there were other reasons, but you wonder if those were that troublesome to make him quit. Anyway, the reason I write all this is wondering about the amount of safety we look for in everything - we save for the future, we plan for the future, we want to keep things in store for the future, we want to be safe and secure in the future; it's all about the future! Makes me wonder if many of us are actually a little too obsessed about the future and the safety factor - so obsessed that we don't live in the present. Someone remarked that people carrying a camera are so worried about taking a snap to enjoy the scenery in future that they don't take the opportunity to appreciate the scenery now.

Mark Twain summarized the thought nicely, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

(By the way, I'm not asking you to quit your job to prove that you live in the present! There are a lot of other things in life; if you haven't discovered them yet then spare a moment and ponder; if you have found them then do something about it).

Wake up XXXV - Why are you like you and not like him?

I was shocked to hear the story of a seventh grader - he was the first rank in his class every year and a girl from the same class out of jealousy punched his eye using the school badge. The boy underwent surgery for one eye. Unfortunately after the surgery the boy lost sight in both eyes. The boy has now joined a blind school to continue in eighth grade. You feel sorry for the boy - having normal vision one day and entire blackness the next.

Jealousy and hatred they say comes with an obstruction of desire; It is disheartening to note that even a seventh grader had such pent up jealousy which you would normally associate with adults. Perhaps it is the effect of peer comparison that happens right from school days - "See him; he was able to fly in the sky; but are not even able to walk straight". A little exaggerated but the point is that we sow the seeds for desire at such an early age and keep adding to it at every opportunity. The result is that some crumble with inferiority complex, some who are carefree shrug it off while some develop a deep and dangerous hatred that will manifest itself in action in the next opportune moment.

So the next time you are about spill out the words, "He did it why can't you?" please stop, think twice and don't say it - you'll do more harm than good. And hey, it doesn't happen just in school; it happens in college, in the workplace and even at home.

Peace of mind makes the body healthy, but jealousy is like a cancer - Bible

Wake up XXXVI - Look at the world outside

People used to ask me why many of my 'wake up' series articles focussed on individuals who were physically challenged - visually challenged, hearing impaired or mobility impaired.

I met a young boy currently pursuing his commerce degree who lost complete vision when he was four years old in an accident. He was cheerful and bubbling with energy when I talked to him. Then there was a partially blind seventh grader who was taking treatment for a huge swelling above his eye which was painful but from the way in which he moved around and the glow in his face you couldn't have guessed that he was in pain.

And that perhaps is one of the reasons I write about them - because you can see the spirit of human resilience in many of these individuals. They grow to accept what they have and scale higher heights accepting this fact. Many a times we don't believe in ourselves; we don't believe in the natural resilience that we are all endowed with; spending some time with those differently abled changes your perspective no matter what state you are in; their appreciation of the little things and their happiness in every small step they take amidst all the difficulties; things which might be as small as learning an essay and reproducing it. We have a lot to learn from their attitude.

Go on and spend some time with the differently abled.