Be Leaderless, Be Aware, Stay Clear, Remain Passionate

Anonyme, Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 01:13

Sudhama Ranganathan

Life isn't always fair and doesn't always give us a heads up as to the turns to be expected in the road ahead. It's up to us to try and remain alert, not get sucked into traps and forgive ourselves, keep our wits about us and quickly maneuver away from traps when we do. That doesn't mean in politics, in war or business necessarily. It doesn't refer to anything in specifically, but more just a general notion regarding life or specific areas of life, however the words strike any particular reader or fit anything they may see as relative.

Sometimes life presents a person with a situation that has no time tested script or traditional path to follow. At times a person is presented with a situation requiring them to be their own boss, the creator of their own plan and the person in charge of writing their own script dictating what decisions they will undertake themselves. There are times when among the many that person's most important job isn't to follow this or that person, but to maintain vigilance over oneself within a specific place and what it means to them to be there.

At those moments such a person may be alone and secure within that, or may be one among the multitudes and secure in that. Nonetheless the job of maintaining their actions, behavior and conduct relative to their situation is not governed by well known recognizable faces or voices saying “go here cause it's the right thing, don't go there cause it's wrong. Believe this or that.”

There may be a place for them to exist and an organizational structure occurring around within that location. The place may dictate certain choices. Either way at that time the very best thing for such a person to do may be selecting choices they most believe deep down are correct for them. At such a moment the very best thing may be making difficult choices, and viewing tempting easy ones like a brand new car and a model just glittering as being like sweet cheese on a death trap. Then again maybe not, the point being no external forces should dictate to or for them what's right or wrong, be it a superstar or the stranger sitting on the curb next to them.

In any given situation, no matter what others want or are angling for you to do, the best choice may not be either A with this camp or B with that camp, but a C of your own construction. There may be a better path with only the breaking down of the seemingly large and unmanageable into the small and manageable – and/or at less complex. I was in such a situation once when being pressured through discrimination based harassment to quit a degree program at the University of Connecticut. It forced me to stay alert, thinking for myself, not allowing for a rest or to take the road of a typical college student.

In other words, 'taking these courses, maintaining this GPA at least, making sure to get in at least this amount of studying and turning in such and such assignments by this date' wasn't enough. Within the context of the afore mentioned degree program there was required a vigilance over everything – not paranoia, just heightened alertness. Respect was always given to the professors, even though some of them were involved in the afore mentioned harassment, effort was always put into understanding how to be as one with the group in terms of being a student and there always a need to be clear about each action.

Though there were other students around and a constant sense of healthy competition in the afore mentioned degree program at the University of Connecticut, the level of detachment necessary to maintain pragmatic objectivity as a person being harassed for discriminatory purposes, meant maintaining the level of passion for tasks aimed at myself was a must.

It was important to remain focused. It was imperative to keep stoking the fires of passion and not let individuals or groups within the afore mentioned degree program at the University of Connecticut cause dedication to the goal of graduating fizzle or fade. That did mean remaining in the group. Of highest priority was being there and not letting the devotion, or original intent regarding graduating from the afore mentioned degree program at UConn be steered towards a side road leading into the oblivion, or getting dumped off in the ditch to be made cold and dispassionate about the very reason for being there in the first place.

It meant injecting care and passion into every moment of the time spent there, never permitting being molded into the shape of one that gets talked down or placated. Satisfaction meant meeting the original goal; room for side roads not allowed. It didn't mean breaking laws of the afore mentioned school, the state it was in or of the larger nation to do so. It didn’t entail a loss of temper or lashing out as a result of like emotions. Where there was anger it was channeled into focused passion for the goal, channeled through well thought out moves. There was no allowing the passion towards meeting the afore mentioned goal to be talked to. There was no allowing an inch for being talked out of the passion and energy necessary for being invested towards the goal of graduating from UConn.

There was no allowing passion towards the goal of getting that degree to be reasoned with, reckoned with or talked out of its existence. There was never any listening to the words of those spinning yarns about not working towards that picture of a future of that college degree clenched in hand. There was a lot of saying “uhh huh” and head nodding, while internally remembering exactly what was being looked at from one situation to the next. There was no allowing others to convince that meeting the goal of getting the afore mentioned degree could be done any way other than graduating from UConn and on time.

There was no allowing those trying to provoke the committing of actions that would result in getting kicked out of the afore mentioned university to succeed in their goals. Those doing things that would result in getting kicked out of school or something else that would sideline the ambitions of simply getting a college degree were immediately disassociated from. It came down to just, politely as possible, avoiding all things fishy, too good to be true, too normal for such an abnormal situation, so on and so forth, etc, etc.

Losing site of the reason for standing there every day could not be allowed. The hunger, the passion for the dream was never forgotten. Casual discussions with those subtly suggesting leaving the afore mentioned degree program might be the right thing for to do were viewed as being nothing more than lessons in how people try and convince others to do things contrary to what they've already decided to do. Just a new cool bit for the socket wrench.

They were just allowed to be opportunities to study the ways people tried to come at you sideways. Notes were made and distance quietly created between such folks. It was a matter of constantly finding ways to keep it going and to stay motivated. There are times in life relying on others to keep going is the best way to go. At times some of the most rewarding experiences are when a person can be among others, yet leaderless while respectful and mindful of the larger presence and persevering. When there are others doing the same a real momentum can be built upon. And when one discovers a little thing that feels right and sincere and works towards a particular goal, do that more, more and again. For whatever it's worth, my not, allowing myself to be stopped, resulted in graduation and on time. Perseverance can be successful no matter how daunting it may seem.

Push them a little, push them more and then keep pushing them. Slowly, inch by inch, break what seems insurmountable into the small and manageable like water through time and pressure, time and pressure, time and pressure.

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