Simplicity defined!

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!

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90 thoughts on “Simplicity defined!

  1. Simplicity is quite complex…each person defines it in his own way but calling such a great scientist and a lover of humanity simple is quite paradoxical! I must explore this simple word further, there is great depth in this.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well said Alok, his humility touched everyone; it was all encompassing. Earlier in the day that he passed away, he was so concerned about one of the security guards having to remain standing throughout his drive from the airport that when they reached the venue of his talk, he called that man and personally thanked him. We were really fortunate to have such a karma yogi in our midst.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Dr Kalam was the epitome of simplicity. He made the apt use of his position with no hangover of power that is commonly seen and expected too. I guess the visionary he was, he lived in a different plane all together much beyond the trivialities. I tend to agree with your other point too. As much as I like to interact with people on social media platforms, in my opinion one should give enough space to others. Imposing doesn’t work for me either.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. On Dr Kalam, i will remember him for his innocence. Good point you mentioned on the power-related arrogance and i only wish others around him inculcate some of his habits.

      On the other issue, one of the reasons i post just once or so a week is because i do not want to flood others. And with FB, Twitter, IB etc where i am connected with the same reader multiple times, one week is a pretty good buffer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True may there be more like him.
        The frequency of posting, as per me, is an individual choice, should be fine as long as one is not bothering others with excessive tagging. Which sites a person likes to visit, with whom a person likes to interact on social media and at what frequency is also an individual choice. Expecting someone to interact regularly as per one person’s requirement doesn’t usually work for the other.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, Abdul Kalamji sir is a amazing person… he was simple, as in happy, did not desire wealth but was charming his own way… I had seen him as he talked to us on our college convocation somewhere 2007 or 2008… he was fun connected with youngsters very well and inspired them. He always had a vision, worked hard, had fun being wonderful to people, I mean he is amazing… I will read his book 20:20… a happy, simple person is someone happy with himself and feels beautiful… they will be confident and bind others too, lead others by example… there are so many intelligent guys, but they focus on earning money, doing well professionally, academically but that is nothing… a vision, a dream, that passion that purity is required. I really seek inspiration from others and try to be humble, if I can’t do anything else. Well on the social Media thing, its everyone’s choice, once long time back I got mail telling if I don’t circulate that mail to 1 guys something bad would happen to me, I wrote to the other person I don’t want to receive such mails and she got angry and told I should not forward her nice emails too…so it depends… one has to understand that everyone is growing someway emotionally, spiritually and leave it at that. I am sure your someone who won’t be on the computer and wasting time for long in social Media sites more than what is required which is good. I think it is time all of us do something, or prepare to do something now, instead of conveying respects to Kamalji, as he would have liked that as well. For me, right now, only few people always attract me, Mahatama Gandhi, Vivekananda for sure… also Kamalji… all these people did something, went by people inspired them, gave them hope and helped them pave the way. So, lets not only be rivals, think of our family alone but spread nice things where ever we can. I have been seeking inspiration only last two years, this year been very hard because I know have to go further than merely seek inspiration. There is no limit to learning, growth etc …so everyone should get a vision and mission and go on with it… I have neither but all should have that. Goodday… I like to quote or tell what Vivekananda said, he said for this country to become great he wants just a few dedicated men and women souls not everybody, just few people are needed for prosperity of Nation, so we all have a long way to go…anyway…

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Good to know that quote from Vivekanand Ji. I am a fan of people who inspire and motivate but i keep myself motivated too.

      True that all of us can’t do good to the world, few of us definitely can and must do…for that will take all of us forward.

      Thank you for this nice comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know last year, I did something just for time pass without much conviction. I actually got some help plea on facebook, that a guy got accident, lower body badly injured and money donation was needed. I called the guy up, he told me to check his brother out in the hospital and I did so. His brother was in ICU crying, and his mother, sister came asking for help so I took the pothocopy of their xerox and did something I can never ever do now. I went around my flat and told them about the guy, showed the reports and collected money, I collected Rs 3000 only which is nothing. Next day I rushed to give the money to the younger brother, he told thanks, that it was nice of me to do whatever I did… on hind sight now I won’t because begging money is not the way I like doing things, but I got both good and bad name for it. Complaints from apartment people etc… was sort of disappointed but still I did feel the money I collected though little is blessed because it has got the good wishes of so many people… anyway… everyone should do one thing good and useful… I feel all of us should have just 1 child, if we want a second should adopt, want a dog, adopt a stray, lecture and enlighten those who need things… but very few do that, adoption no one will do):… anyway goodday

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I try to keep to the basics but in this ‘throw away society’, even the niceties of ordinary interaction with people seem to be going out the window and are being replaced by just liking people who seem to have everything. Basic, No, Simple, No. Where is it all going to finish up?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think everything is going superficial and social media is adding to the glamour factor. If you see around, we are hardly connected to people emotionally; in the blogging world itself it is more of a give-and-take.

      I have no answer to your qn on where this all will finish up. Alas!

      Like

  6. Right Alok ! Simplicity is bring humble without realising it or being good (not nice )again without realisation…Or simply put its to be in harmony with all without feeling superior or inferior to. And Yes , its quoete complex you see 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, indeed simplicity is a difficult attribute, more so for people in high positions who enjoy trappings of power and privileges. Kalam stood out like a role model. The best tribute to him will be to achieve at least some of what he wanted all of us to achieve.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, it is so difficult to remain grounded when we grow to a significant level. It means the quality has to be ingrained, rather than acquired.

      Agree on your tribute aspect, we can (and should) try our best.

      Like

  8. I have heard stories of Dr. Kalam where he used to eat by the road side even after reaching great heights. This eatery is the same place where he used to have food when he started his carrier.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh, it can be a complicated task to achieve true simplicity 🙂 I agree with your perspective on Dr. Kalam, that kind of simplicity is truly heart-touching, it was that made him truly a people’s president!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nice observations, Alok… Simplicity is a very difficult attribute, as, if it was otherwise, we would have seen a surfeit of simple people all around us. It is simple to be happy, but difficult to be simple. A few great souls have it, and it adorns their personae, as a pristine white flower wearing the morning dew, glittering like diamonds…best wishes… Raj.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are great inputs you’ve mentioned, sir. I find it difficult to comprehend why it is so difficult for us to be just simple!

      Anyway, hope we can get inspired from these great souls and do good for the world!

      Like

  11. Hi I have tagged you in the ‘This smile is owed to’ tag. Here are the rules for the same. https://thehappywappyblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/01/the-happy-wappy-world-foundation-day/
    In case this concept does not match your blog’s previous content and your are having second thoughts on publishing this to your blog, you could always use your facebook account to do the same. Either way please tweet your entry with the hash tag #mylifeishappy so that we will all be able to read each other’s post at one place.
    Thanku soo much for being part of the Happy Wappy World. Have a great day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I loved your post Alok, and I found your post simple 🙂 Chacha Kalam was selfless, no vested interest and thus simple. Simplicity to me is being uncomplicated and straight when it comes to human connections. I faced a very similar situation where a person was constantly pinging just to ask me to vote or read her posts, well I would surely want to read a lot of people’s work provided 1. I have given time to my priorities and 2. I have written back to my readers. Its sad but true, some people just don’t change. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, complications don’t earn us much in life whichever way we look at it.

      The lady i mentioned above messaged me multiple times to read her posts few months back and i did that instantly once, even as i was about to leave for office. And, she hardly came on my page!
      And, i bet, she is still doing the same with other guys…

      Like

  13. He was the only President of India who spent less than the budget alloted to him at Rashtrapati Bhavan and infact refund the amount to the government. The rest of them overspent their budgets and present extra bills to the government. A real real Simple man.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The higher one rises in life the tougher it becomes to keep in touch with reality. That Dr Kalam could do it so easily is testimony to his greatness. When one watches him interacting with people it seems so simple to remain simple and that is why he touched so many lives. You are right we all have a wonderful role-model in him.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You are so right. When we talk of simplicity, the first name that comes to my mind is of Dr Kalam. What a fitting tribute to the an of simplicity.
    And I agree with you on takeaways for us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It’s his simplicity, his altruistic nature, his way to strive for excellence, his passion towards work and towards the wellness of the society.. and so many other qualities that he possessed.. the entire nation mourned for him.. that was the power of his simplicity.. and the bar that he has raised for all of us is indeed a challenging one, but surely worth making the effort..

    well written Alok..

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  17. its an interesting post! Lot of times I end up thinking how consumerism is taking away humanity and simplicity. The brands and its persona kind of makes you behave and act in a way which is not consistent with your true self. You buy X brand and you feel elated…you feel as if you are different from rest of the people around you..feeling of being supreme! well, that’s the power of brand and its adverts!

    here is a link which I would like to share which I came across recently…a social experiment in street of New York city on cold freezing day..a freezing homeless boy. have a look!

    http://aplus.com/a/social-experiment-freezing-homeless-child

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would advise you to see film ‘The True Cost’ and it is along the same lines as you’ve mentioned…i watched on Netflix few days back. It is an eye-opener on how adverts affect us.

      The one you shared is also very touching! Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sure I will…and since you recommend it, I’m sure it must be great! I normally don’t check out the links (the one I sent to you) but since it was appearing as an update from petapixel.com, I checked it out and its surely moving!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Lovely post Alok. I must say he was totally unlike any politician. Really humble and humility personified, he always made a difference with his words and his deeds. He was the perfect example for the quote ‘Simple living and high thinking’.

    Liked by 1 person

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