Bill Gates was talking to the high school students about everything, which he believed that neither books, schools or parents taught them. The message I liked most was- Life is not fair. No, I agree, life is not. You can spend your teenage thinking why God made your boobs smaller than your bum and then realize as you grow older that it is not just genetic issues, it is a host of small and big things like in-laws, exams and jobs, but then you can always look around and find somebody, who thinks your life is perfect, or so it seems to them. Well actually if you think from their point of view, the imperfections in your own life become faint and the positives push you along. What constitutes a good life is something, which is different for everybody and tends to change for each of us all the time. .
I have been trying to cheer myself up with the resigned views of the Geeta. "What happened was for the best, what is going to happen is the best and what is happening now is great." Well, I wish I had this faith in the almighty, I could breathe in deeply as I saw my daughter get up late (jo hua, acchha hua), take ages combing her hair(jo ho raha hai, wo achha hai) and not worry that she will miss the bus (jo hoga, acchha hoga)
No I think this is a simplistic view of the Geeta. Geeta asks you to do your best, while having faith not to worry about results. So it is important that you set the alarm, try to get out of bed and get ready on time but if you cant find your socks or the alarm clock goes bust, you should have the faith that all the shouting that you get from your parents and a miserable day at home with the Maths book, will be good for you. Life is like that, what seems then, like the end of the world sometimes, is just the beginning.
Another message from Holy Geeta is-"Whatever is yours today, was somebody else's yesterday and will be somebody else's tomorrow." This is a good thing for wives to remember, when faced with unresponsive husbands, who have their eyes glued to Pamela Anderson on Baywatch.
Another thing that Bill Gates said was- Life doesnt allow you time to find yourself. I agree. While in student life, your mind is free to roam, experiment, dream and get influenced by. The oppurtunity to do that as you get older becomes scarce. The rat race to be smarter than your mates in college coupled with the daily struggle to walk the tightrope of being a good mother or wife comes in the way. I wanted to be a school teacher until I learnt that it wasnt what would be considered a top job. I think as you grow older, you become an onion with peels of influences around you, taking you more and more away from the real you. I wish schools, parents and teachers would encourage children to remain original in thought and not become a dangerously homogenous sea of ambitious wannabes tumbling out of the assembly line.
Bill Gates also said "Nobody cares about your self esteem" When you have seen it being crushed around like a sweet wrapper, you realize what this man is saying. The problem is, though that it is not until you go through life can you actually imbibe all these lessons. All of us have heard about the survey which asked people to choose between earning 10, 000 while others earned 8,000 and earning 12000 when others earned 13,000. Most respondents said they would prefer the first, meaning they would prefer to earn less money in actual terms as long as it is more than what others earn. So clearly, all the fat bonuses and salaries are just to feel good, not for what money can buy, after a certain hundred thousands, I would think.
I wish self esteem wasnt about your pay packet, but it often is. It is about position, it is about skills, but mostly it is about what others think of you. Everybody, even the most cynical and eccentric people worry about what certain people would think of them. Self help books tell you to stay away from people who are bad for your self esteem but sometimes you dont have a choice.
I remember now, what my father or mother may have said, when I was in school or college, little sayings or proverbs, sometimes, to elicit what they had learnt the hard way. "Oppurtunity does not knock twice", "Life has no short cuts", "If you aim for the sky you will reach the palm tree" "Take your critics seriously, they brighten up your surroundings" Those were words then, they only give us wisdom now. Life is indeed the best teacher.