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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

NaBloPoMo 2017: Day 15: Lessons from Grass

Once, a VIP, was heading to an educational institution to deliver a talk. As per protocol, he was provided security cover. 

As the journey began, through the windshield of his car, this VIP noticed one of the members of the security detail was standing in the moving gypsy just in front, scanning all directions. The VIP was pained and kept requesting that the officer be asked to sit down; his request was rebuffed in the name of security concerns. 

Finally, after a long drive lasting a few hours, when they reached the destination, the VIP asked to speak to that ‘standing’ security officer. This person was apprehensive, wondering what wrong he had done to be so summoned. To his surprise, the VIP shook hands with him, thanked him, asked if he was tired and wanted something to eat, and apologized, saying, “I’m sorry you had to stand so long because of me.” 

Can you guess the identity of this VIP?

Full marks if you said Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.

Just minutes before he breathed his last, delivering a lecture on “Creating a Liveable Planet,” Dr. Kalam made time to thank the security officer who was part of the convoy that journeyed to IIM, Shillong.

We couldn’t learn of the ideas of Dr. Kalam on the topic. But frankly, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this hero’s entire life has been a lesson on that topic. And, as we tell students during the DISHA workshops, of all his admirable qualities, the one that stands out the strongest, as in the example above, is HUMILITY.

I remembered this yet again when Kavitha Athreya, one of the DISHA coordinators wrote to me recently saying that at different points in time, she has tried to follow the principles of humility. Very humbly, she says, “I do not claim to be successful. But often, it boils down to the point that no matter what people say to you, you get back to them, with respect.”

Kavitha also sent me a beautiful video that explains this concept with an apt example.

Do watch this video. Can we all try to practise this?

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