Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Six lessons to learn from Bhagat Singh's life

Source: Rediff
Bhagat Singh
On the day of the martyr's death anniversary we look at some of the things we can learn from the life Bhagat Singh led.
First things first: Bhagat Singh DID NOT die on Valentine's Day.
Much as your Twitter friends would like you to believe that the revolutionary along with Sukhdev and Rajguru was hanged on February 14, the truth is that the three were executed on March 23, 1931 -- exactly 80 years ago from today.
Bhagat Singh was all of 23 when he was sentenced to the gallows. That's about the age when many of us start our lives. So what is it that we can learn from the revolutionary's life?
Without sounding preachy, here are a few things we can actually learn from his life.

1. Be your own person

There are larger lessons to learn from what happened on Twitter last month. Some genius decided that Bhagat Singh and co were hung on Valentine's Day and what followed was complete mayhem, with people singing praises of the men without so much as checking their facts first.
Sure, it's always easy to follow the mob. But it's also easy to get lost in the crowd, isn't it?
Be your own person. Don't follow the crowd just because they believe they're going in the right direction. Bhagat Singh could've well taken the beaten path. He didn't. That's one of the reasons why we're even talking about him 80 years after his death!

2. Find a purpose in life

Yes, we can see you cringe in your seat. No, we're not asking you to join the army or become a social servant.
Remember the time you were asked in that job interview about where you see yourself in the next five years?
That's the interviewer wanting to know if you have a purpose in your life. So ask yourself this question too.
For his age, Bhagat Singh knew precisely what he wanted out of life and got it. Not too much to ask of oneself either no?

3. Follow that purpose with passion

To what extent can you go to achieve your goal?
Can you go hungry for days or stay sleep deprived for hours to meet your aim?
How persistent are you following up on the targets you've set for yourself -- they could be as simple as losing weight or getting to a certain point in your career.
All successful people will tell you that they didn't get to where they are without struggle. And we are also speaking about people like Ratan Tata who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
Learn to go the whole hog, struggle and fight because there is pretty much no other way to be successful.

4. Procreation isn't the only thing you're born to do

Bhagat Singh never got married. He never had children either.
As difficult as it might be to believe, there is much more in life than to getting married and birthing children.
And again we don't mean you should take a broom and sweep the streets. Put the time and money you conserve to better use.
Adopt a child rather than have one of your own. We are a country of a heck of a lot of children. Adding another one to the population isn't helping anyone!

5. Read

If some estimates are to be believed, Bhagat Singh is said to have read about 300 books while he was imprisoned from April 8, 1929, to March 23, 1931.
Popular accounts also tell us that up until moments before he was to be executed, he was reading Lenin and asked the executioners to wait till he finished the book.
As cliched as it may sound, books open far more doors than you can imagine. So go beyond 140 characters and read.
Be aware -- politically and socially
Who is the governor of your state? Who is the vice president of India? If you find yourself answering these two simple questions without hitting a google search, pat yourself on your back.
If not, maybe it's time you take a good hard look at yourself. Simply being good at your job isn't enough. Be aware of the world around you. It's the least you can do.

6. Take up a social cause

Giving back is the new black!
So jump on the bandwagon and do something for the country that has done so much for you.
Little things matter much -- adopt a stray, visit a children's home, visit your ageing neighbours. Really, it isn't very difficult.