So it is monday morning, that time of the week that most people dread. I do not want to get into why we dread it, but let’s face it, unless you do something you love or love what you do for whatever reason, we have all faced the blues on Monday mornings. So I thought of a combination of play and inspiration to help you along your day. The game is self explanatory, so let’s get started.
I am one who would run away from school immediately after it got over because I feared that others would make fun of me. I also started shaking and could not muster the courage to deliver on my first professional undertaking. However many years in the future I was able to sit still and fearless in the face of a cobra slithering over my body and staring into my eyes?
Can you tell me who I am?
For those who know the answer, it will be but a flash and please do share your answer in the comments section below. For those who don’t know the answer, think about it for a bit…
I will tell you another story from his life that will make it easier for you in case your ponderings haven’t led you to satisfactory answers.
It is the story of a young man, whose profession demanded him to be a bold and sharp speaker, but who in reality was shy and awkward.
In fact he was so fearful, that as a lawyer, in the first case he ever had to handle, he froze completely. He was unable to speak and humiliatingly had to hand over the simple case to someone else.
His first professional success came in a case involving two very rich and prominent Indian merchants living in South Africa, Sheth Abdullah and Tyeb Sheth. The merchants happened to be cousins and the bitterness between them had lasted many years.
He immersed himself in the case and felt that the facts were on the side of his client, Sheth Abdullah. Soon though, our protagonist (Its Ok to not know the answer) got disgusted with the profession which demanded that lawyers on both sides only rake up points in favour of their clients. It would just prolong the battle, leading to more animosity, while a wholesome solution would forever be out of sight. Meanwhile, the mounting expenses of the lawyers threatened to consume all of their clients resources. Following the dictates of his heart, our man strained every nerve within to get them to settle through arbitration outside court. They agreed and the arbiter ruled in favour of Mr. ******’s client, Sheth Abdullah. The amount that Tyeb Sheth would have to pay to Sheth Abdullah was 37,000 pounds, a huge sum those days (Somewhere in the 1800’s, another clue by the way) which would lead to his bankruptcy. There was an unwritten code among the Porbandar Memans, the community to which Sheth Abdullah and Tyeb Sheth belonged that death by suicide would be preferred to bankruptcy. Our protagonist was deeply pained over this and strained hard to get a concession for Tyeb Sheth. After some struggle he succeeded in convincing Sheth Abdullah to allow Tyeb Sheth to pay in instalments stretched over a long period of time. In his book he writes, “Both were happy over the result, and both rose in public estimation. My joy was boundless. I had learnt the true practice of law. I had learnt to find out the better side of human nature and to enter men’s hearts. I realized that the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder.”
To those of us who are not much acquainted with such little details of his colossal life, the protagonist of our story is none other than……wait for it…….
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi!
Before Gandhiji became the dhoti clad beloved leader, who would be instrumental in defeating the greatest empire of the world through non-violence, he was also a suave lawyer with a modern lifestyle. He had many failures and disappointments in his life. He had all the failings that you and I now have and yet he was able to overcome them and reach a stature where even Albert Einstein said of him, “Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.”
You may like to reflect on a few questions of your own life such as,
1) Is there something you know you should be doing, but you are avoiding?
2) Do you feel that you are giving your best shot to life everyday?
3) What are the fears that are holding you back from living the life you feel you should live?
The answers maybe painful and may bring out resistance…let me rephrase it. The answers will be painful and will bring out resistance as I realized and continue to realize. I however find the process to be highly rewarding and one of growth. I hope that you will find the same.