Friday 9 May 2008

"When an Opportunity Knocks your Door.."

I don’t know the pessimist who quoted the proverb which says, “An opportunity knocks the door only once but misfortune keeps knocking the door until you open it.” It is the opportunity which treats all humans equally as Indian Judiciary does (All are equal before Law). Though it is same for all, only some people utilize it in a proper manner. This happens because no two persons are alike. According to me, the world is classified into only two categories viz., the wise and the fools.
For a fool, an opportunity is like a bitter gourd and if he/she finds that the life has handed him/her a bitter gourd, he/she gives up and say, “I’m beaten. It’s my fate, I haven’t got a chance.” Then he/she proceeds to rail against the world and indulge in an orgy of self-pity. But, when the same bitter gourd is handed to a wise man/woman, he/she says, “What lesson can I learn from this misfortune? How can I improve my situation? How can I turn this bitter gourd to a sweet dish?”
The bitter gourd is same for both wise and fool. But, it is the psychology of humans which differs. (“The block of granite which is an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.”) One of my friends always complains about his parents who are not happy with his lecturer job. Though he is happy with his career, due to societal fears he’s getting discouraged. He used to say that, if he had had worked hard when at education, he would have been having a better career graph than now. He asked me, “How could I overcome this situation?”
I answered, “Two men looked seating on a park bench--one saw the mud and the other saw the stars”. It is the observation that matters, I said. He looked quite convincing, then I added, if you’re already looking at the stars then don’t bother about what others are saying/thinking about you. We are not here to imitate others or to follow and/or live on the conditions/principles that others try to set for us, so, let’s be ourselves and let’s find ourselves. Yes, it does seriously matter when we are looking at the mud. In this case, we should not neglect what others are saying/thinking about us. We must change if we really need to change. But it would be foolish to feel utterly wretched and terribly beaten. It is a wonder-filled characteristic of every human being to turn a minus into a plus. If you are looking at the mud, may be you can turn that also into an opportunity to make a craft from the same. For doing so, one must develop a strategy of working hard with a greater positive attitude to attain what ever one wants.
After some days, he phoned me and told how he had had changed his way of thinking and said that he had also shared a real life incident with his colleagues which I had narrated him that day. It is about a girl of Andhra Pradesh State. I don’t remember her name, but read about her in the newspaper and also watched her on television. She had completed her graduation and was about to fly to US the next day when she met with a fatal accident and she was completely paralyzed. She said to the interviewer that, she raged and rebelled and also fumed about her fate. But, as the days passed on, she found that her rebellion wasn’t getting her anything except bitterness. “I finally realized” she said that, “the people were kind and courteous to me. So the least I could do was to be kind and courteous to them.”
When Interviewers asked if she still felt, after all these time, that this accident had been a terrible misfortune, and she promptly said, “No”. She said, “I’m almost glad now that it happened.” She told them that, she got once the shock and resentment, she began to live in a different world.
She began to listen to good music and she was thrilled by great music that would have bored her before. But the biggest change was that she had time to think. “For the first time in my life”, she said, “I was able to look at the world and get a real sense of values. I began to realize the most of the things I had been striving before weren’t worthwhile at all.” She showed the courage to setup a small scale industry at her home and employed nearly about 25 members (status at present date) to help her in business. She manufactures pillow covers and stuff and now her business had expanded to overseas not just because of the sympathy but due to their honest efforts and the quality they maintain.
The more I’ve studied the careers of men of achievement; I have been convinced that surprisingly a large number of them succeeded because they started out with handicaps that spurred them on to great endeavor and great rewards. Yes, it is highly probable that, Helen Keller’s brilliant career was inspired and made possible because of her blindness. Mahatma Gandhi’s freedom struggle is an outcome of the suppression he had had undergone at South Africa. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s Constitution of India is also an outcome of the tortures and suppression he had undergone in the name of caste. I feel, if Dr. Ambedkar had reared in an aristocratic family and hailed from a different community or say caste and had a happy youth, he would probably never have found in the depth of his heart to draft the highly appreciated Constitution of India.
From the above paragraph, I never meant that only handicaps or suppressed people gets succeeded in their life but at the same time, it is also a true fact that, “As the gold gets its true shine only after been burnt in heavy flames so is the human being gets the achievement after a hard struggle.” The classic examples are Late Dhirubhai Ambani of Reliance, Azeem Premji of Wipro, Rajinikanth, Shahrukh Khan, from Film Industry etc., who started from the scratch are now reaping the unimaginable profits. Opportunity will always be there, it is only in our hands to utilize it properly. One can easily turn a minus into a plus. Instead, sitting idle and complaining, one must work the ways to utilize the opportunities. Thomas Alva Edison says, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” It is in the human psychology itself to miss the opportunity and then sit back and simply cry.
Therefore, in my conclusion I would like to say though, “Opportunity knocks the door only once”, one has to build up the courage to go after it and ask why it has not waited for him/her until he/she have opened the door. Or else, one has to welcome the misfortune and try to turn it into good luck. Both are possible only when people show courage to work.

Thanks and Regards,
Srikanth Chintakindi.

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