I, The Absolute

What matters most and Why

Posted by itheabsolute on April 30, 2005

I think of all b-school admission questions, Stanford’s essay A is the most interesting and difficult to write. Having come to a b-school, one tends to think all is set and there is not much worry but getting placed. But it is not a movie where the hero and heroine marry/unite and the story ends. If one goes behind the screen, it is easy to realize that actually the marriage/getting together of the hero-heroine is the beginning and not the end. Similarly, getting into a b-school or even getting placed is a beginning of a longer journey in life than what one has traversed so far.

Today, we were audience to many presentations. Each speaker spoke about life, acads, fun, stress, jobs, etc at ISB. What is noticeable is the difference in perspectives. Each one had his/her own take on career and life. With so much of free, but divergent, advice floating around it is easy to get overwhelmed. It is easier to get confused.

‘What matters most and why’ is a question one should attempt in life and discover answers. What better time to do this than ‘now’. The answers can be found by following the diktats of one’s own heart and head / soul searching.

Conversation enriches understanding; but solitude is the school of genius, as a Prophet said. The answers are always sought ,first, in solitude. Once the homework about what we want and why is done, then, the world is always ready to approach and get advice and clarification.

Post Scriptum:

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.

I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy – ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness–that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what–at last–I have found.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.
Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.

This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.

– “what I have lived for”, Autobiography, Bertrand Russell

3 Responses to “What matters most and Why”

  1. mansi said

    hmm so wud expect the same with lot other books & biographies too….would save a lot of time & effort 😉

  2. thats the best part of russell’s autobiography…

  3. mansi said

    beautiful quote from the autoboigraphy

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