Every year, the calendar sees a spectacle of light, that goes on for almost a week, that promises to bring with itself hope, happiness and change. Diwali, probably marks the biggest event in the religious calendars of India, and symbolises the return of Lord Ram from exile. In this context, it becomes essential to revisit the wisdom, lessons and insights such epic tales give us, in life, work and everything else. The essence of the celebration, if reduced to gift-exchanging and card parties, will fail to bring in the expected change. We present 5 key take-aways, implicitly and subtly derived from one of the longest poems in the world, Ramayana for students, teachers and everyone in the Education sector.
1. Identify your strengths and use them: The story of Ramayana had several characters in short yet pivotal roles. Take Nal and Neel, for example. Though they make a fleeting appearance, their role, of building the bridge to cross the river, is essential for the story to progress. Similarly, Hanuman, though one of the central characters, took several roles during the tale, that of a soldier, messenger and leader. However, probably one of his most important contributions was also to get medicine for an injured Laxman, in a race against time. It is important to note that, before these individuals were chosen to do these important jobs, they were no more than a soldier in the army. Once their talents and skills were identified, they were able to use them for the larger good. So it is essential to know what you are good at. It doesn’t even have to be a technical skill, for that matter. But knowing the unique skill that you have is essential to move ahead, for only then you can hope to use it to make a difference.
2. Decision Making: At the risk of being branded a rebel by the parents reading this, the writer of this article, condemns the decision that Ram’s father and step-mother took for him. In the mother’s defense, she thought what she was doing was right by exiling Ram. Similarly, a lot of time, parents, friends, teachers, and relatives end up taking critical decisions of your life, without you intending for them to do so. They might be working in your best interests, but they do not know you, as well as you do yourself. Hence, take informed, aware and logical decisions and stick to them, and accept them, for better or worse. On the other hand, the 14 years of exile probably gave Ram enough experience as a leader to become a better ruler once he was back. Therefore, such life-altering decisions do have several fall-outs and several positives, and effect us in ways more than we care to admit.
3. Review your Performance: Had Ravana taken a few moments to logically ascertain the losses of his kingdom and his army, and also factored the loss of his brother and son, given the amount wisdom and intelligence he had, the writer thinks he would have not ended up in the same fate. It becomes critical to periodically review your performance and progress, no matter if you are preparing for a unit test, or making a career related decision. It is necessary to ask questions like, ‘Is this what my initial goal was?’, ‘Do I need another methodology?’, ‘Is my plan and schedule working the was I expected it to?’, ‘Will the current pace take me to the final goal?’ time and again, in order to timely correct any irregularities.
4. Every Battle needs Preparation: No matter how big or small the battle, every incident in the battle field required exhaustive planning, extensive use of resources and meticulous management. Similarly, every exam you prepare for, every workshop you attend, every project you have to do, requires a similar amount of planning. Sure, every once in a while, you will put in a one-night battle, like Hanuman, and also emerge victorious, and garner the Sanjeevani booti, but if this becomes a habit, you are bound to loose the war.
5. Expect the unexpected: Sita was abducted after 13 of the 14 years of exile had already passed. Ravana lost, despite having a bigger army and more resources. The duo Ram-Laxman went to garner massive support wherever they went. A small act of kindness ended up in Sita getting abducted. So many episodes in the epic tale are co-incidental and unexpected. Similarly, doing a ‘safe’ course, and taking up a ‘secure’ job is no guarantee that life will be smooth. There will always be bumps, and kinks to straighten out. So every text you read, every class you attend, every workshop you sign up for, every internship you do, and the people you meet during all these, all carry the power to alter the course of your life. It is YOU, who needs to take charge and realise the opportunity. But despite all the preparation in the world, do not assume things will go to plan, for they seldom do.
Diwali, though a lesson on the victory of good over evil, is also in many ways, a lesson on how one should try to lead his life. Schools, colleges and organisations are nothing but an extension of how we dwell outside of our homes. We often the fact that these lessons and insights are also applicable in these spheres. Let this Diwali be such an event, where we implement these lesson in every aspect of our life, specially Education.
We at Edunuts, wish you a very Happy Diwali, and an equally prosperous festive season ahead!