IF IT'S NOT YOUR CUP OF TEA, WHAT IS?








Some days ago, in one of my classes, I was telling my young ones the need for a clarity in their life as far as their vocation was concerned. They were Commerce students, and they were in eleventh standard. So, the normal tendency was to take it lightly… “Why to be so serious? Let me enjoy my college life.”

Fair enough. College life doesn’t come once again you see. So, you must enjoy…

But, then, when you are busy enjoying your college life, your five years in college will fly by… and, you will find yourself wondering “What is that I am supposed to do in life?”

The author and educator, Parker J. Palmer, says in ‘Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation’:

“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it,
I must listen to my life telling me who I am.”

Many years ago, when there was less number of options for a Commerce student after his twelfth standard, (B.Com was the only option), I would come across several students deciding to pursue Chartered Accountancy or Cost Accountancy. Now, after twelfth, there are at least half-a-dozen conventional options. If you also consider the unconventional options, you can add another half-a-dozen. The funny part is this: the young ones seem to be clueless about their vocations more than ever! Yes, more the options, the more the confusion!

“So, Rishi, you want to be a Chartered Accountant, right?” I teased Rishi, knowing well how my happy-go-lucky Rishi was and how much he loved the core subject, Accountancy, which I taught him!

“No sir, No!” Rishi jumped, “It’s not my cup of tea!”

“I know that darling,” I calmed him down, “If it’s not your cup of tea, what is?”

Rishi was not alone in this. The whole class needed help in this direction. They all – we all – needed to ‘listen to Life telling us who we are,’ as Parker J. Palmer said. How else could we ever tell Life what we want to do with it?

Discovering one’s vocation, in my view, is the greatest discovery one can ever make in life. What is the point in reading about discoveries on land, sky and oceans when discovery of one’s own vocation in life is left undone?

To the ones, who eternally complain saying ‘How to find our vocation?’, let me share the colorful description given by Josephine Baker. She said:

“Is that what they call a vocation, what you do with joy
as if you had fire in your heart, the devil in your body?”

I bet, we all are capable of knowing what we do with joy… yes, as if we have fire in our hearts and devil in our bodies. Aren’t we?

So, my question to Rishi’s around me, awaits an honest answer:
“If it’s not your cup of tea, what is?”

 “If you must walk in someone's shadow,” let me rest my case with a line from Rasheed Ogunlaru, “make sure it's your own.” 


GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Nachiket Jeurkar

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