Some of you could say it is a matter of prioritisation and perhaps rightly as well. So I want to let you know I have my focus on it and will do my best never to have such a gap again.
Interacting with young students of your own institute is such an energising experience. Their ideas are thought provoking and the discussions stimulating. Refreshing is the word. I was recently put into a spot in one such interaction. The question – you spent 4 years at the institute, what has been the most vital contribution the institute made to you as a person?
Simple but an amazingly deep question that got me thinking hard and long. I reflected on the environment of the institute during my time almost 25 years ago. BITS Pilani continues to be a very easy going, peaceful place that permits everyone a huge amount of independence. You are allowed to do almost any thing that you desire. Decide your own timetable, choose the classes you want to attend – or not attend any if you wish to. Decide the instructors you want to follow. An ultimate sense of freedom of action and freedom of spirit. Far away from any other civilisation, beyond the prying eyes of parents and guardians.
You can understand how easy it is to lose your sense of purpose and perspective in such a free and open environment. But I have always held the view that independence comes with a great amount of responsibility. If you can balance your freedom with accountability, you will come out trumps not only from the college but from the larger battles of life in general. In such a balance, you take decisions and own them – good or bad. There is no one else to blame or shoulder the blame. Looking back, I can say with confidence that has been the most significant addition to me. Obviously there have been a lifetime of memories, of friends and gurus, of moments of boundless fun and joy and sharing!
Wow – what a calming influence – take ownership and accountability for all that you do and never blame others! Do you think the world can be a far happier place if we were to imbibe this simple philosophy?