It was the time of my M.B.A. and I used to stay with my uncle and aunt. My last semester’s exams were ongoing and this incident took place exactly on the last day of my examination. It was summer and exams were scheduled in the late afternoon. Rickshaws usually go extinct during summer afternoon and it was a 20 minutes walk from my uncle’s house to the main road of bus stand. As usual I reached on time at designated bus stand for my college bus.
Those days mobile phones were not used to be like body organs and I didn’t carry my mobile to avoid the hustle of submitting it during exam. Least I realised of any bad omen coming my way. Alas! college bus didn’t arrive. I didn’t imagine even in my nightmare that something like this can happen.
It was the monstrous afternoon of scorchy heat with hot scary wind when people avoid stepping out. The bus stop was in the cantonment area. Forget about human, not even a single bird was there. There was an alarming silence in all the directions. One or two bikes crossed but none bothered to stop. I couldn’t call my uncle or anyone else as I didn’t have phone plus my uncle was out of town.
My heart was pounding fast as the time passed. I was sweating profusely and my whole body was sinking with fear. Despite my desperate attempts to stay strong to control my tears, those kept flowing like a flood, helplessly and effortlessly. My college was 25 km away from that bus stand and my wrist watch was ticking fast. I was clueless what to do, no PCO booth was visible, no auto rickshaw, no rickshaw and those days Ola and Uber didn’t exist.
Suddenly out of nowhere one scooter stopped. Middle aged man, asked me what happened? I told him the whole story and requested him if he can drop me to the central place where I can take an auto for my college, he agreed and in between he asked me about my college and exams.
Angels do exist and uncle was surely an angel sent by God. He told me don’t worry beta I will drop you to your college, just relax. I can’t express how relieved I was. He dropped me, I thanked him, touched his feet for blessings. I got to know that he had to go someplace elsewhere but just to make sure I didn’t miss my last exam he decided to drop me to my college.
Even after so many years this memory thrills me with all kind of mixed emotions. He had a choice not to stop, not to waste his time but he chose to extend his help to the helpless person. He thought of me and my future.
While entering my college tears was still rolling down but this time with joy and relief. Each word of praise and prayers are less what that divine soul did for me. No matter wherever I reach in my life and whatever amount of success I get, I will never forget this piece of humanity. This teaches me to be grounded always. Alone I am nothing, I need helping hands to grow and succeed in life and the same I must do for others.
Ever wondered what would remain if ‘I’ in us is no more prominent and conscious in our lives? I, me, my, mine has created more boundaries and conflicts mentally, physically, socially and politically.
In my understanding beneath ‘I’ only expectations exist ‘I want this, I don’t want this, I love this, I don’t love this, I expected this and I didn’t expect. We are surrounded by this one letter word ‘I’. The feeling of ‘I’ is intense and deep rooted in us for centuries that has made us all so selfish.
What happens when ‘I’ overpowers in us & its consequences:
- It multiplies the ego – ‘I’ is the synonym of ‘EGO’. More ‘I’ in life multiplies the ego within.
- It creates an elusive reality and a false feeling of superiority – It makes us over-estimate our own capability and we start over-calculating our self-worth. We don’t get the feeling to improve and upgrade because we feel we are more than self-sufficient.
- Creates unrealistic expectations– ‘I’ feeling makes us so self-obsessed that we think about only ourselves and eventually start craving for recognition and entitlement. We get strong urge to get applauded everywhere.
- Happiness is based on external sources – We start seeking happiness outside because inside it’s filled with ‘I and EGO’. We feel happy and satisfied when we are recognised and applauded by crowd. Even the social media ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ fill us with ecstasy and happiness.
- It pushes people away from us – We always try to keep proving ourselves better than others. Eventually we are surrounded by jealously. All of this pushes away people from our lives and ultimately we are left alone. We start taking everything personal.
- It makes us greedy & kills our happiness– We always crave for more instead of appreciating what we already have. It adds stress in our lives. Our “I and its ego” takes away many important things from our lives.
How to manage ‘I’ and make it ‘I’ to ‘Others’
- Practice Gratitude- Take few moments every day to pay gratitude to those who contributed in your life even if it is one of the smallest contributions. This will make you realise only ‘I’ is not sufficient. We need people to survive and grow.
- Practice Forgiveness– Forgiveness is the most powerful way to let go of ‘EGO’. Forgiveness will erase the negativity in your life and you will start valuing other’s existence. (Refer to Forgiveness – Part 1 & Part2)
- Practice Silence- Spend some time with youself. Focus on your breathing, your existence, sometime you get many answers in silence.
- Help others- Understand we can’t live in this world alone; we need people as everyone has different skills and qualities to run the world. It is foolish to think that we are self-sufficient to do everything alone.
How many bosses do we know who really care about their teams and actually know what is happening in their lives? How many people do we know those who go out of their way to help others? I bet only handful but they do exist.
Great people and pure leaders are vulnerable and unselfish. Their main mission is the elevation of others. They are joyous and full of heroism; they don’t need to advertise their success to society to feel better.
Anyone can be great. Greatness doesn’t come with knowledge, it comes with wisdom that comes by serving others. You don’t need college degree or you don’t need to be an expert in any theorem or to have flawless personality to be great. You just need a heart with grace and compassion and a soul full of love.
I am thankful that I have met some amazing generous people who have advised, coached and mentored me. I am nothing today without those benevolent people; some of them were complete strangers those who genuinely helped.
I bow my head humbly and with gratitude before the almighty and all those people who helped me directly or indirectly.
Rumi said so brilliantly “Give up the drop, become the ocean”
Love & Gratitude