As I fast approach my 66th birthday…and given that I have no intention of living beyond 70….there is more to look back upon, than look forward to. In one of these introspective, retrospective moods I thought I must catalogue the WORDS I HAVE LIVED BY : words that have inspired & helped, supported & motivated, driven & directed me.
Being a Literature aficionado, I was privileged to read & internalize words, thoughts & images from diverse authors & other sources. English, Hindi, Marathi cinema has contributed a lot to my make up. And now of course, the all pervasive, super invasive Social Media shapes me, as much as it shapes you. But even in this cacophonic overload, some words survive, stuck as they are in my heart and head. I realize they exactly are the Words I Live By. This blog is an attempt to share some of these quotes with you.
Had read somewhere, possibly Kahlil Gibran’s advice:, “ If you have 3 Dirham, Spend 1 Dirham on food, so that you may live; Spend 1 Dirham on buying a Rose, so that you may know why to live; and Spend the last Dirham on a Book so that you may know how to live”. Having been surrounded by words through my life time I do believe:
At the start, I quote Walt Whitman , the Father of Free verse, words I resonate with:
Yes I am large. Most of the time goes in establishing boundaries and exploring new horizons. and as you go forward you understand the truth of Tennyson’s words, “I am a part of all that I have met./ Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough/Gleams that untraveled world/Whose margin fades/For ever and for ever when I move…” And, I continue:
I take solace and draw strength from 2 aphorisms fundamental to Hinduism:
I do believe God has made us in his own image and He is constantly telling us, ” Not my will, but Thy Will Be Done”. But in our Human condition we continue to be afraid and look out for clutches. Sad, since we are complete in ourselves. We need to remind ourselves:
To me it is obvious that we are put on this Earth to succeed and if we are still breathing our mission is not over. Trust the process, JUST BELIEVE
The Free Will believers will readily accept that I can choose a different future. But a different past? think about it. Past is what you carry with you in your mind & in your heart. Who stops us from setting the burden down? We only need to leverage our ability to Let Go.
“Yes Father, Yes” I have with great humility understood that our plans and efforts take us only thus far and finally you must ACCEPT & say, “Yes Father, Yes” . Remember John Lennon:
A King asked his Shaman to capture the wisdom of the world in a few words. The Shaman spoke the wisest words ever:
As a career HR person, I have had my share of battles & arguments, My discussions & debates. Till someone told me : Discuss (v) late 14c., discussen, “to examine, investigate,” from Latin discuss-, past participle stem of discutere “to dash to pieces, agitate, strike or shake apart,”. And Debate (n) early 14c., “a quarrel, dispute, disagreement” (now archaic), from Old French debat, from debatre. Sense of “contention by argument” That revelation made me silent. I learnt to keep my counsel to myself. But my faith was, there is no problem which together, all of us, cannot solve. I got a lot of backing from:
In my life, I have chosen to stand on shoulders of giants, and thus got to see farther and see better. But, as I live my life, I keep reminding myself of Einstein’s golden words:
We all would do well to remember this exhortation as we must go forward with enthusiasm & energy to conquer the challenges before us. Every challenge strengthens me and makes me more capable, more competent; indeed, a better leader:
A true leader knows his real mission is to create other leaders. When the Disciple overtakes the Master, curiously the Master is the happiest as he knows he has given back in full measure, what he has received. Just like, as parents we are happiest when our children succeed : that was our fondest dream. We owe this debt to Life itself, as Kahlil Gibran reminds us:
I have spoken of many commandments & made many pronouncements, so I must hasten to add 2 caveats which have kept me steady:
So where does that leave you? Confused?? That is good. As a teenager, my daughter Rashmi used to wear a T-shirt with a blurb: ” If you are not confused , you really don’t know what is going on!!! WAKE UP”
These Words to Live By are then wake up calls. Think about them. Mull over the meaning. Contemplate how they apply to you. So I am giving a bunch quotes which have been rules for living my life:
To end, I must 1) share with you my 5 best friends who have stayed next to me all my life and guided me to all the answers I sought; and 2) a quote I read first in MC Chagla’s autobiography, which puts a wistful smile on my face towards the dusk of my life:
If you did not like my list of Words I have Lived By, I will say:
And if you indeed liked what I shared, I would urge you to draw up a list of Words that You have Lived by. It is your own personal Geeta, Bible or Koran: The Holiest of Holy Words which guide Your life. And don’t tell me it is impossible, as:
Au Revoir, सुखस्तू पंथु, अलविदा, বিদায়, Arrivederci, Auf Weidersehen, Adios, See you soon: vikas