Recently, I started reading “Indomitable Spirit” by India’s former president Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. I really admire him for the kind of work he has done for the country and his determination, dedication, and sincerity.
The book talks about how different people and incidents influence our lives, for instance, our teachers, our education system, etc. I didn’t have the choice to select my teachers, parents or the education system. But I am looking for something that would make me happy and content now. The only message I have drawn from reading this book so far is how to be a good parent, a good teacher and a good influencer.
Women are always reminded that “your body clock is ticking”; sometimes it feels like you are sitting on a time bomb. This book gives me the comfort that the purpose of having a family should not be just filling a gap in your life; to make yourself complete and fit into society’s expectations. It is, in fact, a huge responsibility and should be taken seriously. Despite being an independent, educated woman, I have always valued the salary I draw over the joy of contributing to my work field.
This book helped me redetermine that the purpose of work should not be just to earn money and pay the bills—rather, it should add value to society. And the purpose of education should not be just able to read and write—rather, one should strive to be a life-long autonomous learner. I think these are the skills that give purpose to our life and keeps diseases like depression at bay.
When I reflect on my attitude as a lecturer in college, I realise, until now, I had believed that knowing and explaining the academic content to the students were the only requirements from a teacher. Now, it dawns on me that being a teacher is a big responsibility. What I was doing then was just reacting to the attitudes of the students. I think this is the biggest takeaway personally for me from this book.