I was barely 13 yrs of age, I assume. A chill December night, for a boy brought up in a Christian home, December can be very special. The festive season starts early with the sermons in church slowly tilting towards the birth of the child in a manger and as it progresses close to Christmas the revelries, with music, food and clothes take over and the child is forgotten. It should be around the third week of December when a small group of friends promised to come home caroling. I waited and waited for them to come. Your standing in society depends on how many Carol groups come singing to your home and well the quality of the group matters too. Now this group that had promised to come were real good and hence my wait for them deep down through the night was worth the while. Waiting and waiting I dozed off, the sleigh bells and the reindeer gently carried me into the land of sound sleep. Suddenly I woke up and ran towards the door, I heard the carol singers at my doorstep. It was pitch dark and walked directly into a wall with full force, hurt my full face and my head and fell down completely dazed unable to wake up.
Nearly 20 years later it was festive time again, Christmas in my job. I was doing well and I got good tidings of comfort and joy when I was told that I was fit enough to take the top job some day. This did not excite me at all but in fact I found my mission in my professional journey being prematurely accomplished with those words and found no meaning in staying there to experience it. Meanwhile I could feel the rumbling under my feet, the tectonic plates were getting ready for a face off. The industrial age was grim and still while the Information age was making a grand entry. Not many could see it for she was but a little child born swaddled in modest clothes in a cattle shed.
The Future shock by Allvin Toffler had already equipped me with some knowledge of how the world is likely to be. I was bracing up for it quietly when Tom came along with his Liberation Management. I read about Percy Barnavick of ABB and his idea of creating a crisis by foreseeing one. My eyes could actually see the unfurling of an era in which I will have no place, I could see myself talking and walking in a world that will be worn out and perish. Aging on the knowledge front scared me. I realized that by doing the same thing that I was doing I will end up in the dump yard of the Industrial waste. I had to stop doing what I was doing and do some thing completely different and new. But what is this something, I honestly did not know. This strengthened my resolve not to do what I was currently doing and I decided to walk out of it.
The following years was a life in a wilderness, I was clueless and was groping. Its just not enough to stop doing the old things yet to do something new you need to walk out from your existing social circle and find a new one. A new group that thinks the way you think. I may have erred over here. But after many years I managed to find my feet back this time the floor space was different, it was the new era, unfurled and progressing with full force.
I would call this period of nearly 8 years a time of suspended animation, hanging in a limbo I ran helter skelter, trying various things, with my foot prints all over the place. I was going crazier by the day. Failures followed failures like those ration lines for bread that you find during depression. The choice of giving up did not exist, with so much of crap around there must be a horse somewhere was my only hope.
The white steed did not appear but I found direction in my life. I stayed still for days recounting my life and realizing the purpose of my existence. In short I worked out my very own, personal, Mission statement.
CREATE BY THE WORD. BUILD GENERATION NEXT. INSPIRE THE LOWLY.
Three things the first one actually pushed me to read and write and speak. I found more meaning in dealing with children and youngsters and less meaning in the company of the old. My eyes opened to the Lowly in many situations.
Things fell in place. So when my friend Kiruba Shankar asked me what I would want to do if I were given just 3 months to live, I had to share my bucket list. Well then when he clarified and told me what he had meant I had to share my Mission with him. While sharing with him, probably doing it with someone for the first time, I realized that I was living my life in sync with my Mission.
The intensity needs to be increased for sure. I surmised that I have to put more heart into what Iam doing. Such conversations turn into a watershed of sorts in ones life.. just the way books can do that for you.