Lasting success - to be achieved through honestytext_fields
A good part of my childhood was spent in Palakkad town and its surroundings. My father, A.P.M. Maki Sahib, held the record as the longest-serving municipal commissioner in the 150-year history of Palakkad Municipal Corporation. He served there from 1976 to 1981, and every pulse of the city was dear to his heart. In an important event organized as part of the 150th-anniversary celebrations of the municipal corporation in 2015, my mother, Laila Begum, received the honour for his services from the then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. That was 10 years after the death of my father. It was a providential appointment that I was the then state urban affairs department secretary.
As I sat on the stage at Fort Maidan, my memories raced through my childhood. I was very interested in sports during my childhood, with a special liking for football. At that time, all the major matches and selection trials were held at Fort Maidan. Our physical education teacher would assign students to inflate the ball and buy other materials when they came from school to the ground. He would also give a small amount of money. Once, it was me that the teacher assigned the task. I ran to the teacher, who was standing in the middle of the ground, with the inflated ball and the balance change. I handed over the ball and the change to him. The teacher smiled. Then he looked at everyone and said, "This is how children should be." I raised my head proudly.
Then I participated in the selection trial. The result was announced: I was not in the team! I wondered why I did not get selected even though I inflated the ball and received the teacher's praise. I ran to the teacher again. "Sir, I was the one who took the initiative in all of this. Then why didn't you take me to the team?" The teacher put his hand on my shoulder and said with a small smile. "Only excellence on the playing field is the criterion, no other privileges or considerations. Son, improve your game a little more, practise well, and you will definitely be in the team next year." I was relieved. He then said, "I didn't think you would bring back the balance of fifty praise and twenty paise when I gave you the money to inflate the ball. The achievements that you will get through honesty will be greater than the happiness you will get through selection."
I was deeply touched by the teacher's words. I realized that honesty and integrity are more important than anything else in life. I decided to work hard to improve my game and make it to the team the following year.
There is an Asian country that achieved great growth in the manufacturing sector after World War II. However, their products were made at low cost through petty fraud, forgeries, and other means. Due to the low price, there were also buyers for those products all over the world for a while. However, that situation did not last long. Gradually, the world began to realize the poor quality of those products. In fact, there was even a trend of attributing all the poor-quality products to that country. This caused them a major setback in the economic field. More than that, the decline in trust shook them completely. However, they rose to an extraordinary and miraculous correction. They were ready for a major overhaul of the production methods. They changed tack to deliver to the market only the best and highest quality products. That shift from deception to honesty gave them a major leap in the field of technology. Today, they are a leading economic power in the world. That country stands at the top of the world as a hub of cutting-edge technology.
No matter how one progresses through dishonest ways, whatever achievements one reaps through that will not be permanent. Sincerity and honesty are the greatest assets in our lives. It has more sparkle than a diamond. It is possible that a person who approaches things with complete sincerity may not be able to achieve success immediately. It may be that only after many attempts can the goal be achieved. But the success that comes late is unusually sweet.
Although it may seem trivial, something that can be read along with this is the small 'pranks' that students show in exams in our schools and colleges. Many do so for fear of losing marks in difficult subjects like mathematics and chemistry. It may be that the marks in some subjects are slightly lower in the exam. However, if we want to avoid a major defeat in the exam of the world, we must have the qualities of honesty and sincerity right from childhood. How can a person who does not have the willingness to memorize even the small equations in mathematics and chemistry succeed in the exam of life? Because human life is a meeting of many equations. Only if we can identify, combine, and gain strength from those equations, will success in life be possible. We have the opportunity for correction any time we want. Recognize that knowledge is success, and honesty is its fuel. I remember the words of the world-famous poet Rumi, "Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
The author is an IAS officer and a motivational speaker. Views expressed here are personal