While waiting in the queue of the general canteen, Dr Rengarajan (Chemistry) greeted me with his bright smile, and asked, “So? How is it going? Anything new?”
— Fine. No, nothing new. Same as yesterday. Same as every other day.
— That is good. You know, ‘You have to keep running to stay where you are’. So if everything is same as yesterday, that also is good, because it implies that you have been trying hard to maintain your position. If you just stop for a while, and do not make continuous effort to improve yourself and excel your previous achievement, your competitors would move ahead of you. You have to keep running, my dear friend.
Yes, it is true in the everyday competitions in the fast-paced world that we live in, where ‘survival of the fittest’ is the norm. At the same time, it does hold good also in the case of an individual’s struggle with his own lower self, and his striving for a supremacy over his environment. Galileo said — “All bodies fall alike”. How true! Unless a conscious effort is made to resist the fall, an individual can sink back into the dark pits of ignorance and weakness from which he had taken so long to rise. ‘Natural state is the animal state.’ Maybe it is worse than that. Civilization is a slow process, and so is character building. To rise higher requires energy and effort — regular and conscious.
So many times I have witnessed a sad decline, stagnation, and downfall of highly talented youth. In most of the cases, it was simply because the poor fellow stopped for a while to take rest, or spent too long a time celebrating his achievements.