Recently, India lost a gem of a person I have ever seen – Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. He was the President of India from Jul 2002 – Jul 2007, and was also known as the Missile Man of India because of his significant contributions towards development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology.
Since his death a few days back, Social media is flooded with tributes to this great man, the People’s President. It begs to ask why he was so likable. The answer is because of his ‘Simplicity.’
The bookish definition for Simplicity means multiple things in various contexts. However, it all boils down to someone who is uncomplicated.
I consider myself to be simple in life too (not that I am comparing myself to Dr Kalam). Few months back, I started noticing a flood of updates (blind re-tweets, multiple posts shared on various platforms) from somebody I was connected to on those platforms. It may seem alright to some, but such frequent updates from a single person on a daily basis makes others a bit uneasy. Personally, I believe in giving other people some space too…you would not want to see just my updates every day, right? We all want to be connected with most of our friends. I wanted to communicate this to her and a few days back conveyed to her over a text. She hasn’t changed nor replied to my clarifications after her blunt reply, but I am happy the weight is off my chest.
Anyway, the question I asked myself after Dr Kalam’s episode is – Am I a Simple person? Also, is the text to the lady above a reflection of me being Simple? Well, to a certain extent, I believe – Yes. Moreover, I don’t have any flashy habits, I never rip-off poor, you will always see a reply on any sort of help from me, I have helped few people financially (with no expectations in return), and I keep no ill-will against anybody.
But Dr Kalam went beyond these qualities. He was selfless, honest, down-to-earth and always believed in the progress of children, who are the future of any country. He (as a President) once refused to sit on a chair which was larger in size than those of others. The day he passed away, he was concerned about terrorist attacks in India the same morning. If one reads his books and quotes, they are full of motivation and humbleness is very apparent. To me, he was at the same altar as Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa…we all know what they did for the society!
If I were to put it simply, ‘Simplicity’ is touching someone’s heart through your actions. It creates an emotional connect.
Though I am not sure where I will end up in life, but at least there is a takeaway here: The lessons for me (and many of us) are simple and clear. If we really want to be remembered after we are gone, we need to do much more than what we have been up to – Make a difference in the World in whatever way we can!