I was told one more time by a friend who called me day before yesterday that I spout a lot of gyan and that I keep on changing it from time to time. When I thought about it, I realized that it was true.
When I was ruminating on it I remembered a wonderful book called Gora by Rabindranath Tagore that I had read a long time back. The main character Gora is a man of quick action, deep and clear convictions, impressive powers of persuasion and a capacity for tremendous pain in the service of the causes he believes in. When you see that the weird name is a sort of anagram of Tagore you are left wondering whether Tagore is trying to convey something about himself. Like Tolstoy did with War and Peace…
As the story slowly unfolds, Gora has to countenance the purging of the most foundational precepts that guided his life one after the other. But, the changes do not dishearten him nor do they truly break his spirit. One would think that a wo/man is the sum of the opinions s/he holds and that changing them is the sign of a weak mind. But the book tells the story of a man whose character transcends mere opinions.
Any one reading the book can easily see that what is unique about him is not just what he says or does at any particular point in time. But, it is the way he says and does those things that makes him special.
I really liked the character because his confidence was not predicated on his infallibility or the intransigence of his principles. Only a fool would think that any one would achieve anything of any value without making mistakes. His self-assured personality was born out of his readiness to take a risk and walk-his-talk.
I have seen a lot of people who would rather sit around and criticize than go out, make some mistakes and walk back proudly with the results of their experiments. You will never know anything with certainity. But using that as an excuse for inaction is a sure shot recipe for mediocrity. Which of course is a bad thing only if one thinks it is.