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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Transition from becoming to being to build a better world

While trying to become someone, devote some attention to being who you are!

The other day I met a cabbie who seemed over-qualified. His English was impeccable and he looked every bit out of place being a cabbie – including the fact that he didn’t know his way around the city! I chatted him up and soon discovered that he was a civil engineer. What was he doing then, driving a cab? He told me that his family wanted him to be an engineer, while he wanted to be an entrepreneur – running a cab service and owning a fleet of cars. He said that having completed his engineering degree to please and placate his family, he had now struck out on his own, driving a cab, so that he could learn the “tricks of the trade” live – and on the job!

My conversation with the cabbie got me thinking.

Haven't we often been asked what we want to be? And haven't we asked young teenagers or adults graduating from schools and colleges, what they want to be? Pilot, engineer, doctor, scientist, writer, photographer, actor, journalist, lawyer, we hear these myriad aspirations being voiced. And sure enough, we ourselves in our early, formative years, have talked of being this or that. But never do we hear someone say, I want to be humble, I want to be patient, I want to be understanding, I want to be giving, I want to be loving. In fact, we never do. Despite the fact that, you, me, all of us, are born humble, patient, understanding, generous and loving. To validate this perspective, just look at a child, less than 5 years old, and convince yourself. Have we ever wondered why is it that we stop being who we are, and instead work hard to become someone else? The reason is simple. We relate to and therefore champion the act of becoming more than the state of being. All our lives, and therefore, all our childrens' lives are concentrated on becoming this or that.

A caring human being is more scarce, more urgently needed in today's global context than a brilliant student or an awe-inspiring professional. And to be a caring human being, you__and I__just need to be human. Humility, love, generosity, patience and understanding are wired in our creation, naturally. To let those dimensions of our personas to surface, we must stop wanting to becoming something and just be. From becoming to being, if we make the transition, we would have changed our world.

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