Often men rise in their careers and lives through their actions, words or graceful conducts that leave an impression on the minds of their fellow others for years to follow. Often such men are idolized by thousands and millions across the world.
But often, men also fall from such fruitful heights. And the reason for their fall, more often than not, are the same – their actions, words or their conducts.
We have seen the fall of some of the big icons of our century. For example, Tiger woods fell; From a remarkable golfer to his career-breaking Infidelities. We have seen how Bill Cosby, who once made America laugh, was finally put to tears for his multiple sexual misconducts. Lance Armstrong, an icon for many, was finally revealed to be taking performance-enhancing drugs. From Michael Jackson to Jerry Lewis and countless others, many have seen their sharp descent more terribly than how they enjoyed the world-views from their pinnacle.
So, Falling happens. But then, just as rising to height has a grace to it, the falling too can be graceful. Or can it be?
One such person that is being talked about in India these days is Navjot Siddhu. A star cricketer of his time, a person with a fan base of millions, took the fall when he apparently failed to stand by his fellow countrymen during testing times, and instead in political discourse, took the side of the enemy. He was not only criticized but the public, for justified reasons, robbed him of his ‘nationalist’ badge as well.
But the bigger question is, what does a society or a country stands to lose when such a man, who was once held as an icon, falls so miserably. Does it not tell about the false charm and immature-characterization of the people that we do? Does it not tell that as a nation, we too are far less prudent than we ought to? That even our collective judgments lack the experience of the time?
To be honest, I guess not.
Because just as a man is a cumulative product of his errors (and honors), a nation too can have flaws. Just as a man can fall prey to his own habits, a nation can fall prey to its deceitful politicians who make false promises, distributes goodies and later robs the same nation of its wealth. Just as a man can fall prey to the food he has been eating for long, a nation too can be misled by the hubbub of its phony artists, that it once used as a material for inspiration.
A nation too is prone to make errors in judgments. Of its un-real heroes. Of its un-truthful journalists. Of its unlawful lawyers. Of its untrained doctors. Of its uneducated teachers.
The politicians who lost elections against a new surging wave in 2014 fell so much from the grace that they eventually turned against their own nation, and not against one man. And that is where the nation suffers. Businessmen who were once protected from their loot, and enjoyed an icon status, when they ran away – they did not just fell, but they fell in the eyes of their countrymen and fell from their grace like never before.
And what not…
More so these days, even the youth are equal participants of this bandwagon. They ride on the back of their ignorance and social-media acquired knowledge and claim as if the world is at their feet. Throw a stone in a clear lake and the ripples will set your career moving along. Grab a placard and you get blue ticks and white cars in a matter of minutes..
So yes a nation stands to lose as well.
And this is probably because a nation’s prowess is not judged alone by the strength of its men, it is also judged by the weakness of its weakest men. The corruptness of its most corrupt and the cruelness of its most cruel. The inability of the good to not perform when required fails a nation just as much as the ability and the actions of the bad.
That is why, being a nation with immense potential, even after decade long-ruling, the Congress government couldn’t take India to any heights. This is why a PM, one of the most qualified persons in the world, was made a marionette in the hands of an unqualified. Because he did not act against the immoral and dishonest when he should have had.
So, when a man fails to perform his prescribed duties, when a man fails to act morally in moral dilemmas, then sooner or later his fall from grace is ensured.
But there will be circumstances that even while you perform your duties, you would fail. Bhisma failed to protect the Kaurava Kingdom, a duty he vowed to fulfill. But that is not a fall from grace. In fact, such a fall, when you act and die performing that act, is more graceful than anything else.
Performing ones’ rightful duties is a synonym of Yoga.
योगस्थ: कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय |
सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्यो: समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ||
Had Siddhu, or for that matter, the con politicians of India performed their moral acts, we would have been a very strong nation by now.
In the world where nothing is permanent – then neither your rise nor your fall is.
So, when we do rise, we must ensure that we rise in humility as well, and when we fall, we must ensure that we fall with grace and not without it.