Let me take you to your school day (perhaps thinking itself is nostalgic), History and English teacher taught us about great people. I used to ask a question to myself sitting in the class – ‘How to be great, without being unbearable?’ I ask this because great people in history (especially) have stories are filled with bitter conflict, disharmony, overbearing pride and self-esteem. In other words, their greatness focus on external achievement. No doubt these people are the one’s to cure disease, billionaires (wealth creators), great inspirers. A movie like ‘Gandhi My Father’ says a lot of ‘Gandhi vs Harilal’ bitter relationship, made Harilal dislike his own father or some had difficult marriages(Guru Dutt). Gandhi ignored his kids (we call it sacrifice), Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were notorious for yelling at coworkers. We look at the list of great people, we see they were depressive or silly, despite their legendary success. It is surprising and hard to find people – people achieved great things for the world, were content and treated all people close to their heat. Let’s not just get carried away from books written or movie seen.
Do we call the people striving to be perceived as great as fame seekers? Are these people obsessed about, how the world saw them? Is it worth at a cost of their children, parents, partners and their community did? Some of the movies I enjoyed had these characters were Jism (Bipasha Basu), Aitraaz (Priyanka Chopra) and Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji (Sharddha Das love of Omi Vaidya), perhaps many more.
Our ancient scripts (Bhagavad Gita) has a good saying (and it says all) from Karma Yoga-
“To action alone hast thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction”(2.47). Great people want to be great only through being useful to those they care about most, regardless of how little appreciation or acclaim they get from the whole world for it. This can be the dedicated English teacher (Sister Victoria of my high school), kind and devoted our parents (think of your parents), the wonderful neighbor (supported you), a farmer (food we eat), a friend (name comes to my mind -Raghunath) are the people who are truly great, because they add value to the world for its own reason. I see that anyone can earn money or become millionaire or billionaire, they know only to adopt and raise a child, sponsor for education, showcase social responsibility. Perhaps these worldly greatness are spread wide and thin across hundreds or thousands of people, but it might be only humble greatness that will run deep enough into people’s hearts and memories, this will inspire them for the better, forever.