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The secret recipe – what makes us different ?

Throughout our life we often compare ourselves or being compared with others whom we as well as other think are in some way superior than us. But is that really true. The boy who is sitting next to you might get one hundred percent in mathematics. But what if he didn’t study mathematics for the rest of his life and he becomes a biologist. The purpose of you being compared to him for mathematics scores is useless.

This is how we lead our lives every day. We compare ourselves with others in terms of happiness, intellect, love, beauty, knowledge and wealth. But the truth is, all men are wise. You might think that i am kidding. No I am not. All men are born wise. It all depends on how we utilise it.

Let’s put it in a simple way. Rajesh and Praveen gets a computer each from the same shop. Both the computers are of the same make and has the same configuration. Rajesh takes the computer home and uses it to play games. He involves himself in playing games and watching movies. Whereas Praveen learns a lot of programming, tries a couple of programs, does some reading online on how to use photoshop and starts a small freelancing business.

In the above example you can see that both the boys have given equal opportunities. But the way they both put them into use  makes all the difference.

I hear a lot of people saying that some of their friends who they thought will be fit for nothing are doing great now. We take all the time to become jealous about that person. But we did not think how he/she made that possible. Some people say that “It’s all luck”. But it is not always luck. Some people know how to acquire knowledge. Only a very few knows how to apply it.

But all these years we have been taught to acquire knowledge, mug up our syllabus and spit it out before summer vacation. We have never been taught how to use the knowledge we gained all along. The more right sentence would be , no one can teach you to put your knowledge to use. You have to listen to yourself to find it. It is like finding the light switch in your dark room.

This concept of self realization has been around for a long time. Many people spoke about the concept of what makes wise men different from normal society. When i was looking for literature reflecting similar thoughts , i found a website which had all the curated works of famous writer Ralph Waldo Emerson. He is highly regarded for his essays on various topics.

In one of his essays on intellects, he mentions the difference between a normal man and a famous personality ( in this case, he mentions about William shakespeare)

“We are all wise. The difference between persons is not in wisdom but in art. I knew, in an academical club, a person who always deferred to me, who, seeing my whim for writing, fancied that my experiences had somewhat superior; whilst I saw that his experiences were as good as mine. Give them to me, and I would make the same use of them. He held the old; he holds the new; I had the habit of tacking together the old and the new, which he did not use to exercise. This may hold in the great examples. Perhaps if we should meet Shakspeare, we should not be conscious of any steep inferiority; no: but of a great equality, — only that he possessed a strange skill of using, of classifying, his facts, which we lacked. For, notwithstanding our utter incapacity to produce any thing like Hamlet and Othello, see the perfect reception this wit, and immense knowledge of life, and liquid eloquence find in us all”

By reading the above lines we come to know that everything depends on how we use our knowledge. The application part is what we lack. If we could find the switch , then everything around us will be bright the moment we flip it on.

Karthik Pasupathy
Karthik Pasupathy

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