The Defining Moment:
There are defining moments in everyone’s lives. Mine was no different. Someone came along and made a comment years ago which they forgot the next minute but which would influence every single thought and action of mine forever.
I was in school, about 10 years old maybe. I was not great at football but I loved the game. I ran and ran trying to make a difference to the side I was playing for. I did not have the best of skills but my passion made up for what I lacked in talent. Or so I thought which I was to painfully find out was not true.
One day, the better ones(at football) were discussing team, game strategy and other leadership stuff. I the mis-fit tried to break in with a comment on how we should approach the problem. Whereupon the best one of the lot and often the “captain” told me that “It did not matter whether I was inside or outside the field” and I should probably just shut up.
Maybe I can brush aside something like this said to me today. But the insult was too deep for my age at the time to be forgotten. It was a defining moment. I realized he was true. It was a bitter truth I had to gulp down. It was a slap in the face that I could not return back.
This moment defined me. It hard coded the idea that “I-was-not-good-enough” into every living cell and I would spend the rest of my life competing with the rest of the world trying to outdo the better ones.
The Professor was right, Life is a race.
Many many years later I am watching the movie 3 Idiots at the theatre. Freshers first day at college scene. Virus rides in on his bicycle with a nest and couple of eggs.
“Life is a race, if you don’t keep up, you will be a broken anda(egg in english)”
The hall is roaring and everyone is laughing their heads off. Everyone except me.
Somehow, I never thought this scene was funny. Isn’t this what each one of must do today to stay alive – Compete and outrun others to stay ahead in the game.
For me Life is a distance run, a marathon. A never ending one. I will compete fiercely with this world for a 100 years never able to “take-it-easy” till I have outdone everyone who can potentially tell me that “I-don’t-matter”. Of course it’s foolish. Per Buddha this is clasping a piece of burning coal. The longer I hold onto it, the more I hurt myself. But the Buddha at age 10 was told he was the best prince there ever was, not that he was a broken egg.