Saturday, September 22, 2012

Of Value? or Of Success?

“Try not to become a man of success rather try to become a man of value.” –Albert Einstein

Everyone wants to be successful. Very true.

But what is success? Whom do you consider successful ?

What "SUCCESS" means to you is largely determined by the society and the media's influence on you. You might feel that a person who owns a three bed-roomed mansion, a BMW car and all the other luxuries of life, earning 2 lakh/month as the most successful person. Or you might consider that a person who is popularized by the media and famous all around the globe as successful. A top rated-popstar. A CEO of a successful company. A top notch computer programmer. Whatever!

What about a high school chemistry teacher in a small town? - Are you kidding?
The society by large would consider that person as "middle class" or probably a little more than middle class if his salary is good or if he has good ancestral property.

Now let me introduce to you, Mr. Vishwakumar. To those who don't know about him, he's a Chemistry teacher in a private school (Petit Seminaire) in Pondicherry. He was my teacher.

He is a simple person. He teaches Chemistry at school. He also teaches Chemistry and Physics in the evenings at his house for very nominal fees. Now what is great about him???
Well, ask anyone! Anyone inside Petit Seminaire School, any past pupil of that school, any parent of the student who studied under him, any other teacher in the town of Pondicherry, or even many others living in Pondicherry. People will unanimously tell you that he is one of the best teachers. People respect him for who he is. His passion for teaching, his care for his students and the power of encouragement and motivation he has, his humility, his dedication makes him so popular and dear among his students.

Was he successful? - I don't know. It depends on what you consider successful. He does not own a Ferrari.
Was he of valve?  - YES !!!
How do I say so? He's a brilliant person. If he'd chosen to be (say) a computer programmer** (just an example), earned millions and lived his way, many would have been deprived of a wonderful teacher.

Now what do we learn here:
- Many people are not satisfied with their profession. They feel unsuccessful in this competitive world. (like a doctor working in a rural centre compared to a doctor working in a corporate hospital). How successful you are doesn't matter when compared how valuable you are.

-A man of value will live in the hearts of people even after his death. A successful person's money will be looted after his death. (I don't mean you shouldn't be successful. In fact, you should. But the priority you have decides your life principles)

To conclude: “Try not to become a man of success rather try to become a man of value.” –Albert Einstein

** I never say that a computer engineer can't be a man of value. It was just an example. You can be a man of value in whichever profession you are, whichever part of the world you live in...etc.