The people’s president, the Missile Man of India, former supreme commander of the Indian armed forces, a passionate teacher, scientist, children’s superhero, youngsters’ inspiration and of course a proud Indian, a man of action Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam passed away last month leaving the world teary-eyed. The mankind has, undoubtedly lost a gem with his demise.
It’s crazy to think that Kalam didn’t even want to be a scientist, he just wanted to fly. Dreaming of becoming a pilot, Kalam studied aeronautical engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology: “What fascinated me the most at MIT was the sight of two decommissioned aircraft displayed there. I felt a strange attraction towards them, and would sit near them long after other students had gone back to the hostel, admiring man’s will to fly free in the sky, like a bird. … The goal was very clear in my mind, I was going to fly aircraft. I was convinced of this.” The rise and rise of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, his life is a message for everyone. This post is a tribute to the man I admire.
A characteristic feature of the authoritarianism in our society is its insidious ability to addict people…to the endless pursuit of external rewards, wealth, prestige, position, promotion, approval of one’s lifestyle by others, ceremonial honours and status symbols of all kinds.
To successfully pursue these goals, they have to learn elaborate rules of etiquette and familiarize themselves with customs, traditions, protocols and so on.
The youth of today must un-learn this self-defeating way of life.
The culture of working only for material possessions and rewards must be discarded.
Are you aware of your inner signals?
Do you trust them?
Have you taken control over your life into your own hands?
Take this from me, the more decisions you can make avoiding external pressures, which will constantly try to manipulate you, the better your life will be, the better your society will become.
Life is a difficult game. You can win only by retaining your birthright to be a person.
And to retain this right, you will have to be willing to take the social or external risks involved in ignoring pressures to do things the way others say they should be done.
-Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Check out zenpencils cartoon for this quote here