Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Burn bright!

You know, maybe the most insignificant of actions reveal a lesson. And though I don't want to sound all high and mighty, imparting my gyaan to the world here, I feel like sharing it. It's just a thought that brought a lot of after thought in me.

How many of you have lighted a lamp? Any kind...the small diyas, to the conventional lamps at homes? If you have, probably you've observed something. Fill the lamp with oil to the brim, and burn a wick. Chances are that it will burn dim. Instead, pour oil about till half of the lamp, and try burning a wick. It will burn brighter.

As I lighted the lamp one evening and observed this, I felt there's a lesson here. If life provides you with aplenty, you will never shine (quite literally). The very abundance is a distraction from reaching your excellence. The oil here almost snuffs the wick, because it's upto the brim. And so also in life, if you have enough and more of anything... would you really try hard? You would be like the wick swimming in the pool of plenty, little realising that it's actually preventing you from burning bright.

Instead look at the half-filled lamp. The wick there makes the most out of each drop of oil and burns brightest. It utilises whatever it has of the resources to spread light. The lack of abundance makes it try harder to burn and.... it does.

It's easier if you translate it to real life. I, for one, have seen that people with abundance of wealth, love or food don't quite value what they have. They believe they have got all they need. The most industrious of people are those who don't have plenty. Their lamps are not brimming. And they set out to burn bright.

The desire to strive for more, the need to try harder, the dissatifaction with status quo will drive you. Sometimes the best of you comes out not when everything is going right; but when everything is going wrong.

So what did I pray for New Year? To leave my lamp half filled.


  1. All those of my generation who lament that the gen Y is superficial and indulges in frivolous pursuits and lacks depth should read this post. I exclude myself from this group because I champion their cause and stick up for them. Read my posts if you doubt it :D I admire the way they manage to retain their closeness with their families, the way they balance work and so on.

    Anyway, you have a nice blog here and hope you write more in 2011. Will surely visit more often.

  2. @ Zephyr: Thank You! That was quite a generous comment. I feel honoured :)

    As for the gen Y comment...I am a part of it, and do feel that IS the case with some folks at least! So I don't disagree if Gen X makes those comments.... :D

    Do keep coming back. Would love to have you here. And I look forward to reading your blog regularly too :)

  3. Actually it is the generalising that I object to. If gen X wants to complain about the younger gen being shallow, they should also search within themselves to see if they are liberal and moving with the time or if they themselves have allowed their children to get that way. it is a two-way process and the more we put down the next generation, they more they will behave that way because you think the worst of them anyway. Often those that behave unfeelingly do so because they have not been raised properly. The fault again is at the doorsteps of gen X.

    I don't know if I am making sense to you guys, but that's how I feel about it :)

  4. @ Zephyr: Actually, there is a lot of sense in what you said! I hadn't thought of it that way.
    //...the more we put down the next generation, the more they will behave that way because you think the worst of them anyway.

    Brilliant insight! So now, I agree. One can't really generalise anything. Even a generation :)

    *Smiling at the realization*
    Thanks for sharing that thought.



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