Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Terrified by The Unknown..!

Met a friend of mine, Sunil Shah a couple of minutes back and we spent some time chatting with each other. He had done pretty well for himself, building a hardware company from scratch, and though he had come into the city with just about the shirt on his back, he now owned two flats a beautiful office, with a business going great guns.

“You know Bob,” he said, “I grew up in Ahmedabad and when I told my family I was going to Calcutta for a job, they nearly had a fit. They asked me whether I was insane, whether I knew what I was doing.”

“And what did your family say when you told them you were shifting from Calcutta to Mumbai?” I asked.

“Forget what my family said,” he told me, “my colleagues in Calcutta told me I had taken leave of my senses. They told me how it was near impossible to get accommodation in Mumbai, how traveling was terrible with the heavy rush, and how lonely the city could be for outsiders..!”

“But you went?” I asked.

“Oh yes, I did,” he said, “and do you know how long it took me to get a place to stay in the big bad city my friends had told me about?”

“Tell me,” I said with a smile.

“One day,” he said, “It took me just a day. I got off the train with my luggage and by evening was offered balcony space to stay, which was good enough. Things just worked out for me after that!”

As I walked back home after that conversation I realized what Sunil had overcome was the fear of the unknown. He had left familiar Surat, with friends and family and ventured out. We all have the fear of the unknown in us. We prefer old, familiar places, even if they are dull and dreary. We prefer bad companions even if they aren’t a good influence in our lives, because we are scared to break away and taste what we don’t know.

An Arab chief tells a story of a spy who was captured and then sentenced to death by a general in the Persian army. This general had the strange custom of giving condemned criminals a choice between the firing squad and the big, black door. As the moment for execution drew near, the spy was brought to the Persian general, who asked the question, "What will it be: the firing squad or the big, black door?"

The spy hesitated for a long time. It was a difficult decision. He chose the firing squad.
Moments later shots rang out confirming his execution. The general turned to his aide and said, "They always prefer the known way to the unknown. It is characteristic of people to be afraid of the undefined. Yet, we gave him a choice."

The aide said, "What lies beyond the big door?"

"Freedom," replied the general. "I've known only a few brave enough to take it..!"

How foolish that men faced bullet rather than take a chance through the door!

Maybe that’s exactly what you and I are also doing. Glorious opportunities are waiting for us, if we take that adventurous step into the unknown. Dare you open the door and move on and up or will you always be terrified of the unknown and stagnate?

Think about it; stepping out into the unknown could change your life for the better..!



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