As early as, when I was a high school student and was gaining my interest into debating and public speaking, I often found myself reading quotes by both great and anonymous people. I read it for reasons more than one. While, it primarily helped me throw in some 4 lines of great depth during my speeches, it also was amazing to see, how those people summed up such deep meanings in mere 25 words or so. Depth, intensity and aptness are the three aspects which gives life to these quotes. However, later, I realized, it’s not the three of what I just mentioned which really matters. It is the name, which is written below those 4 lines which make it deep, intense and apt. For when Shakespeare said, “What is in the name”, we do find a mention of his name below the statement.
I wondered what if I wish and am able to write something with lot of depth and intensity, something which would give rise to a school of thought may be or something which a young energetic school kid would like to quote 50 years from now. I guess, even if I am able to write something like that, it will either be lying in one of the hundreds of folders in my laptop or at most find some place in the cyber space owing to a personal blog I have created (assuming they just don’t have a mechanism to delete it once it stops being accessed).
So this drives a point that our words carry a weight mostly in proportion to the weight and significance of our personality and the space we acquire in the minds of people. Well, the reason, why I got stuck with this thought is not just due to my incessant desire to reach a position where what I speak shall become a quote to be quoted in future. May be if I focus on what I do will help me taste success faster than brooding on this random thought. May be I will come across as a self obsessed individual with this thought, but who cares. We all need an incentive to work and grow. May be this is what could drive me to abandon my sleep and sacrifice the homemade food and other luxuries. But on a more serious note, I have found myself a victim of such a philosophy on more than one occasion. And considering myself to be not totally insane, I guess it could or does happen with others as well. What I am talking about is our tendency to value people’s suggestion not on what they speak or suggest but more on what they are and how successful they have been. The business mantra which a small time school dropout businessman staying next to my home gave me was exactly what Mr C.K Prahlad and Mr. Porter gave in their books. While in the former’s case, I honestly didn’t pay any heed to what he said, I did spend hours reading and mugging every single word of the latter’s point of view and at times even appreciating the same.
Probably, it was just my ignorance, immaturity or a kiddish behaviour to have misjudged his advice on the superficial parameters like his education or the size of his business. Or maybe this is what a lot of us end up doing and do not even know. I realized it only a couple of days back.
So may be from now on, I will need to weigh the advice in terms of its content and relevance rather than the qualification of the one giving it to me. For blindly following what the so called great men said may not always be a sane act and neither would be discarding a thought of wisdom just because it came for free from a common man. After all what made Mr. Mittal, the biggest steel tycoon, may just not work for me.