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Believing The Heart
Who wouldn’t like to be in the shoes of Azim Premji, believed to be one of the world’s most prosperous men? The word “prosperous” is deliberate for it connotes that Premji’s wealth was not inherited but acquired the hard way by dint of his own efforts. All of us cannot get into Premji’s shoes. What we can all do is follow in his footsteps, even though the strides are gigantic.
“Change To Win” in this issue defines some guiding principles of staying afloat in a changing world, based on Premji’s experience in Wipro. But even as he describes the 10 simple steps he took, his wit and wisdom, marks of his greatness, shine through.
We have always to be alert to the first signs of change. Managing change has a lot to do with the attitude we adopt to change ourselves. We all share a fear of the unknown, but courage, Premji argues, is not the absence of fear but the ability to manage fear without getting paralysed. We need always to bear in mind that the formal education we may have received is only the beginning of the long journey of learning, which is a continuous and never-ending process.
We need to surround ourselves with people who are open to change and acquire self-respect through self-reliance. “The world will reward you on your success. Success requires no explanation and failure permits none.”
Finally, as illustrations to his plea, Premji recounts two delightful stories. The first is about a wise donkey. The second, about a poor Scottish farmer and a rich nobleman, vividly illustrates the truth of George Santayana’s words: “It is not wisdom to be only wise / And on the inward vision close the eyes. / But it is wisdom to believe the heart.”
The other highlight of this issue, “The Fantasies — and Dangers — of Cave Diving”, concerns a sport that is almost unknown in India. Its author, Michael Wisenbaker, is one of a team of intrepid individuals who risk their lives probing Florida’s deep, dark underwater conduits to provide critical data on the region’s drinking water. The article is illustrated by dramatic photographs taken by Wisenbaker and his team of deep-sea divers in three conservation areas in Florida, whose linkage not only protects water resources, but provides a wildlife corridor for a wide range of species.