Virat Kohli, success and big fat egos

Virat Kohli does not go down on his knees and pray for success. He goes to the gym for thorough workouts; his diet and leisure hours are regulated. He understands that he must be fit and focused to excel.

Virat Kohli, success and big fat egos
Photo : Virat Kohli

Human derelicts abound in our society. It is a feature of our human scape. So many of our talented cricketers, politicians, fathers and mothers have fallen victims to the EGO…boasting, alcohol consumption and multiple partners. Marriage is no longer “until death do us part.” Spouses are abused and demands for divorce are made forthwith. No concern about family traditions, the community or the negative impact on spouses or children. It is the EGO, the one claim to fame that pops up and sullied all that is noble and good in us. 

Success is not magic to pull out of a hat. It is something that can be achieved only by detailed planning, calculated risk and hard work. Our sportsmen-Sunil Narine, Shiv Chnaderpaul, Virat Kohli, etc- are products of self-driven hard work. Virat Kohli does not go down on his knees and pray for success. He goes to the gym for thorough workouts; his diet and leisure hours are regulated. He understands that he must be fit and focused to excel.

When the Hindu Credit Union (HCU) went into receivership and I went to withdraw my shares, I was told that the creditors were to receive their payments firstly. It was there and then that it dawned on me that being a shareholder means being part owner of a business. This was a positive personal discovery in what was a bad situation.

Are we shareholder in the company Trinidad and Tobago Ltd? Or, are we workers working for a salary? Or, are we on the welfare payroll hoping that when the price for energy is good, we may get an increase?

Are we in charge of our lives? Or, have we placed it blindly in the hands of others? Thomas Hobbes spoke of the Leviathan, a strong person to take care of the weak. However, the Leviathan became a law unto himself. When the people were frustrated they took to the street and beheaded their kings and queens. Burning of buildings, looting and blocking streets are acts of desperations from the weak and disenfranchised. This group never saw themselves as shareholders but as recipients of social welfare or crumb from massa’s tables. Dependency is not freedom; it is slavery.

Our business community must be admired for their spirit of self-sacrifice for generations to save money to invest. More than that, they take loans which have to be repaid with interest and have to meet other commitments such as paying utility bills, wages to workers, maintenance of machinery and building s etc.

The rich or the 1% are not aliens. They are human beings like our selves. Whatever faculties they possess are also with us. The difference is that they understand the meaning of the word sacrifice-to postpone consumption today to enjoy abundance tomorrow. But our masses don’t understand that culture of self-sacrifice and risk taking.  They live a hand to mouth existence.

The Marshmallow Test Longitudinal Survey) was conducted among kids in kindergarten schools in the USA. Each member of the sample group was given a marshmallow and was told that if he/she did not eat it by the end of class, another would be provided. The survey found that those who did not eat theirs went on to become more successful than those who ate theirs.

Dr Rudranath Capildeo once said: “If you send a donkey to university, he will graduate an educated donkey.” Education as it is today, is being challenged because it concentrates on providing information on a subject area, not on changing our perspective and outlook in life. It’s like walking into a class with blinders, and walking out a graduate with the blinders still on. The only difference is that we learn to be more obedient and to work harder, like donkeys.

Alcoholism had been a coping mechanism of our ancestors. The long hours of toil, the abuse of drivers and overseer in the fields, the cultural and political marginalization by the PNM have all frustrated our people. With children to feed and educate and limited incomes, alcohol was consumed as a past time to release tension. Today we expect better from our graduates! 

Entrepreneurship has not evolved in our community. We continue with hardware, groceries, doubles vending, roti-shops and vegetable stalls. We have expanded in these fields but have lost out in some. Until the 1990s, the cinema industry was controlled by Indians. With the rise of Cineplex in malls that industry was lost to the Chinese and Syrians. When are Indians going to enter the world of finance-insurance, banking, forex etc?

Undoubtedly, we have played our politics wrong. It is not that we have made genuine mistakes that we may all forgive ourselves. It is our poisonous egos that keep us fighting each other and divided. When   people are bereft of material gains or any success whatsoever, they are left only with their BIG FAT EGOs. This disease engages us in futile debates, separations and divorces, domestic violence and suicides. Accepting responsibility for our social situation is the last thing we want. The trend is to find a scapegoat, someone to blame for our inaction.

Indians need to sound the bugle, lift the bow and arrow and walk onto the battlefield like Arjuna and be a winner. Making excuses is surrender and death. But there is hope. The Virat Kohlis, the Tatas and Ambanis, the Modis, the Sunil Narines are making a success of their endeavors. If those few with the same DNA in their blood can enjoy international fame, status and inspiration, then so can we. LET’S GO FOR IT!