Saturday, September 28, 2013


Pic.: Neerja Panchal

In the class today, a young-one asked me, “Sir, what do mean by being vulnerable?”

Spontaneously, there was a loud laughter in the class, and our young-one did not know what was happening… why others were laughing… It made him feel stupid and a lot embarrassed.

When the laughter subsided, I said this to the young-man: “When you had asked me that question, with all your honesty and openness, what you had done was you had trusted me and your friends around… and, in that trust, you had allowed your heart to open… But, you had never thought that your question would be greeted by ridicule or rudeness… You just trusted, remained sincere to your heart and opened up… In the process, you made yourself very vulnerable.” I continued, “Probably, you must be thinking in your mind, “What a stupid thing I did? Why did I ask that question at all? How come everybody else knows the meaning and I don’t? There must be something wrong with my intelligence… and, so on.”

“Only when you trust someone, your heart is able to open up,” I told the class, “and, till your heart is not able to open up, it is unable to love, learn, forgives celebrate, respect and grow.”

Others had laughed. “Can you tell me, why did you laugh at your friend’s question?” I asked one of my students.

He did not know why… Everyone was laughing; so, he had joined them.

Because we do not know how our openness will be received by others, we simply remain closed… And, look, what a tragedy that is: we fail to experience life!

Being vulnerable may hurt, many a times. 

It may sound like the ‘stupidest thing’ 

we ever did in life… 

and it may look like a massive weakness…

No sir, No. It is not a massive weakness… It is a massive strength!

To love, learn, feel joy and gratitude, to feel blessed and graceful… to experience hope and brotherhood… to feel healed and free… yes, for all these wonderful experiences to settle in our hearts, our hearts need to open up… become vulnerable before those we love, those we live and grow with.

Elisabeth Shue had said, beautifully:

“I understand now that vulnerability I’ve always felt is the greatest strength a person can have. You can’t experience life without feeling life. What I’ve learned is that being vulnerable to somebody you love is not a weakness, it’s strength.”


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