Come Alive

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

~ Dr. Howard Thruman

I have met hordes of people who would have a fit if you repeated the above quote in their hearing. There are also those who would smile wanly, nod patronizingly and say, “That sounds very nice you know, but it isn’t practical.”

I want to ask such people what their definition of practical is.

Have you seen the manner in which the average, middle class Indian family discusses career options? Have you heard the admiring note that creeps into the words of parents as they say, “Oh, do you know, MBAs are in great demand nowadays.”

Demand?! Are you to become fodder to satiate the hunger of corporate beast? Is that your strategy to tame the monster so that it will disgorge an enviable life- style with which to stun and impress people you don’t give a damn about- even despise? That sounds practical!

When you find yourself fighting to keep alive as the massive jaws of the beast masticate you into pulp, will you have time to notice your life- style? You might be a nervous wreck, but you’ll have a life-style. Oh yes, you will. I suppose, that’s your definition of practical?

Is there anything that makes you come alive? Is there anything that could make you forget yourself, whether you slept, whether or not you ate? Is there anything that comes naturally to you, like you were born to do it? There are always ways in which any passion can be turned into a career. When your calling becomes your source of income, you will never work a single day in your life. You’ll just be doing something you love doing- and getting paid to do it!

I can’t imagine anything more thrilling than that.

Picture: From Google Images
Picture: From Google Images

10 thoughts on “Come Alive”

    1. I am sorry to contradict you Umashanker. I don’t think you have a single ‘wan’ bone in your body. And I am sure you are living your dream every single day, aren’t you? 🙂

  1. Each day I face these eager youngsters who are raring to go but who will eventually choose wrong because they will listen to “practical” noises made by their own parents, the media and the general buzz. They will fail to listen to their own hearts. Sometimes I succeed in making a minority listen to that very powerful voice, so powerful actually that it is a marvel that most people can ignore it. Those others who will not listen to this voice are doomed to do something that will give them no sense of fulfilment. If that is the life they want, so be it. The quote was apt and what you wrote was good.

    1. I hear you Avinash.

      You are saying so be it but I know you are not able to accept the sheer waste so casually. I know it makes you mad. I know it hurts. No matter how much you try to tell yourself that it is after all their choice and their karma, a prat of you screams in rebellion. No matter how many times you see the same sequence of events enacted right before your eyes, you will not stop feeling helplessly enraged.

      The pain doesn’t end by saying- it was their choice. Perhaps we shouldn’t have been given such fastidious souls. Then whole mess wouldn’t be a personal rebuke to us.

    1. In such endeavors success is not measured in numbers Jeevan. Even if you were able to make a difference to one life, you were successful. The benchmarks are really very simple, and achievable. God speed your efforts.

  2. Success is measured by your lifestyle, the kind of money you make. But is that enough? What about passion, about loving what you are doing? This is a fight a lot of us have to fight every day. Sadly I am one of them.

    1. You aren’t the only one Amit. Most of us have to play the trade- off game. We never realize that with each trade off we’re killing a part of us irrevocably.

      Ms Ayn Rand said: In a compromise between good and evil, only the evil can benefit. Just as in a compromise between food and poison, only poison can have the upper hand.

      What more can I say?

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