VOICE VERSUS NOISE ... FEAR VERSUS FAITH
We give our best only when we operate from that space within our souls called ‘Faith’. When we operate from there, we come about confident, authentic. And this: courageous despite a quaking heart!
On the other hand, when we operate from that space in our hearts called ‘Fear’, we cannot give our best… We come about diffident, not authentic.
My friend, Ajit, was telling a group of our P.D. students this evening: “We all have our voices and noises within us. Voice is ours; it comes from deep within… Noise is not ours… It comes from outside. So, we need to learn, early in life, to recognize as to which is our voice from inside and which is the noise from outside. Once you do that, you begin to operate from that zone called ‘Yourself’… Your self-confidence is the reflection of that self-expression. Discovering yourself is discovering your voice.”
Two days ago, I had asked one of the participants the question: “Why do you want to be a school teacher?” This 30-year-old had done her schooling from Lucknow’s famed school, ‘La Martiniere’. She had been a bright student. Later, she completing B.Sc., M.Sc. and B.Ed. She had been excellent in all these. Still, something was not going right for her… Whenever she was asked to give a Demo lecture, she would come back crest-fallen. The authorities had rejected her performance… not her as a person. But, she had taken it as a rejection of her personality… “I am worthless” was what she had taken in… This had kept her caged as a victim…
When I had asked this bright woman the question, “Why do you want to be a school teacher?” I got this reply: “In Lucknow, if you are a B.Ed., you can apply for a High-school teacher’s job till you are 40!”
I was shocked to hear that! She was thirty and hoped to find a school-teacher’s job because someone had told her, “If you are ‘qualified’, you can be a teacher!”
“Are you sure, that’s the only reason?” I probed, “Or, is there any other reason?”
She thought for a while and said, meekly, “I think there is no other reason, Sir.”
I said, “Madam, that is not a compelling reason to become a good High-school teacher. Even if it gets you a job, it will be only a ‘job’. You will work there for your financial security… always worried about losing your job. You need to find a deeper reason why you want to be among the young school-students… You need a shift in your attitude, a paradigm shift.”
I immediately gave her a checklist: “Do I love teaching? Am I passionate… Do I feel excited when I think of teaching profession? Do I love being with young students? Do I long to influence them, impact their lives? Do I see great joy in the thought of being a part of their success stories…as a mentor, a guide, a coach, a friend and a philosopher?”
I told the class, all over again, the story of Poorna, the 13-year-old tribal girl who had climbed the Mount Everest. Her mentor (Rahul Bose), too, had challenged her after training her, just before the final climb: “I will give you the permission to climb the Everest only if you give me a strong reason why you want to do it.”
Poorna couldn’t offer the reason when her mentor had asked her. The following day she had to rush to her village, where her cousin sister (who had always been a driving force in her life) had delivered twins after a terrible pregnancy. The mother and one baby died… One baby survived. That was the kind of life for all the tender teens in their village; and, Poorna’s parents had already found a groom for her and planned to marry her off. Now, holding her cousin sister’s survived baby in her hand, Poorna first cried, then became angry… and finally became peaceful… She came back to her mentor and declared, “Sir, I have found my reason.”
The rest is Poorna’s gut-wrenching story! I have told this story in my class scores of times to my own Poornas… And, here, I was telling this to one more Poorna, who wanted to climb her own Mount Everest…
“Not till you give me a strong-enough reason why you want to be a good High-school teacher,” I told her.
Our thoughts of job security come from our lack, the scarcity mentality… “There is only so much out there… Only so much ‘scope’ for each of us.”
Is it true? Only ‘so much’ for each of us… Only so much ‘scope?”
No. It’s operating from our fear, not faith.
Today, I had shown to our young ones the iconic interview-scene from the movie ‘3 Idiots’. Raju (Sharman Joshi), who had brought about that ‘attitude shift’ in him – from fear to faith… From lack to abundance – yes, he had ended up teaching us a priceless lesson about fear and faith.
As my friend, Ajit, too, explained to young ones in our P.D. session today, the ‘noise’, always, comes from outside - our near and dear ones, the society. When we heed to this ‘noise’, we operate from fear – the scarcity mentality. We can never, ever feel truly confident and authentic, when we operate from this space. On the other hand, the ‘voice’, always, comes from inside – our own hearts and souls. When we heed to this ‘voice’, we operate from faith – the abundant mentality. We can truly feel confident and authentic, when we operate from this space.
Ajit had concluded: “Our personal growth – our Personality Development – can be complete only when we learn to be ‘adults’… Only when we are ready to act on our inner voices and face the consequences of our actions.”
Pic.: Chetna Shetty