Monday, 28 September 2015

We Live in Deeds, Not in Years

By: Sidhant Sourav

By: Arghya Patnaik (I & E 3rd Year)

And here comes a brilliant article from one of the best talents of the college,  the multidimensional, Arghya Patnaik!

“When you arise in the morning, Think of what a precious privilege It is to be alive-to breathe, to think, To enjoy, to love.”                           

Indeed, when Marcus Aurelius said this, he was correct in his assessment of the value of human life. Man is one of the precious creations of God whom He preserves in this bountiful planet. In fact, man is endowed with special faculties which distinguish him from his fellow living beings. He has got the power to think and to apply his thought for the betterment of himself and his fellow-beings. This faculty endows him with enormous potential to make a difference to human civilization in a constructive manner and to leave behind an enduring legacy. An adage goes like this, “The entire purpose of life is to live a life of purpose.” As Steve Maraboli said, “You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it fearlessly.”                               

The cycle of birth and death is an inevitable process which man must subject himself to, because it is the universal law of nature. When a child is born, it is per-ordained that he shall die, one day or the other. Man has no control over his longevity. But, the quality of life one chooses is the discretion of the individual. One can choose to make it non-descriptive and die unsung and unheard. Or, one can choose to make a difference and stand out of the crowd. The former does not require much effort and is a beaten path for all men to follow. The latter, although fraught with difficulties, is the ideal path because a purposeful life is a well-lived and fulfilling life. Utilization of our life in the best interests of mankind and natural surroundings is the best way in which we can repay the immense debt to God for having created and preserved us, all through our life. “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”These words of Ralph Waldo Emerson echo God’s directive to His children which is enshrined in the holy books of all religions of the world. That is, to serve the mankind.                                

 “The small lily flower that blooms in the lake for a day attracts countless passers-by its fragrance and exuberant colours. But the oak that lives for three hundred years is soon forgotten.” The same analogy can be drawn for human life. A long life doesn’t necessarily imply a successful life or vice-versa. In fact, if one lives for long and isn’t able to leave a lasting impression on the sands of time, then history doesn’t judge him kindly and he is soon forgotten, lost in the vast multitudes of men who have come and gone, without much ado. But, a noble life and fruitful life is described in glowing terms over generations of time. Such people occupy their rightful places in the shining firmament of the league of honourable men, the ones who have conquered destiny and triumphed in life. History provides ample examples of people who, despite their short lifespan, have left behind indelible imprints on the sands of time. Such people have even conquered death and lived on in their admirers’ hearts.
Srinivasa Ramanujan was a prodigious mathematician who is regarded as one of the greatest in his chosen field. He lived only for 32 years, but in the short life he got, he proved his dexterity with numbers. Swami Vivekananda, regarded as the greatest Hindu monk of all time, passed away when he was barely 39. He established himself as a legendary figure who continues to be a shining beacon which guides everyone in the world to follow the path of righteousness and nobility. His works and oration stand a testimony to his peerless erudition. Yet another example comes to the mind when we talk of Indians who passed away prematurely, yet are regarded as cult figures. Bhagat Singh attained martyrdom when he was 23 years old. In the short life he got, he demonstrated to one and all, the power of raw patriotism and love for one’s motherland. His devotion to India and the cause of Indians against the ruthless imperial rule stands out as one of the best examples of human sacrifice and shall continue to inspire countless Indians for all times to come. In the history of the world,Alexander, The Great comes to our mind. He was another son of mother earth who carved a niche for himself in the league of great men. By his conquests, he brought Europe closer to India and facilitated the intercourse between the Greek and civilizations of the East. The prospective ‘ruler of the world’ was just 33 years old when death came to him. But, death failed miserably in diminishing his rightful place in the history of the world. Alexander is remembered as much for his conquests as his contribution to world civilization.                                    

The great Chinese thinker Confucius said, “With only coarse rice as meal and only plain water as drink, and only my arms as pillow, I shall find joy in the midst of these conditions. Wealth and honour acquired contrary to righteousness are to me like the passing cloud.” Thus, one must avowedly follow a set of idealsand toil relentlessly in order to serve the humanity. History remembers only these noble personalities. Thus, we conclude that, “Man lives in deeds, not years; Thoughts, not breaths.”

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