Advertised Modesty

Advertisements have become the norm of the day.

Though we know that charity is best done when even the left hand does not know what the right hand gives we find boards displaying lists of donors in places of worship, hospitals and educational institutions.

You simply cannot pass a street; enjoy some form of entertainment or the media or surf the internet without stumbling on some commercial or another. When entrepreneurs use advertisements to market their brand or product, can the individual be left behind? Social networking sites, page three, magazines exclusive channels have been designated the onus of highlighting achievements that range from the inconsequential to the truly commendable.

It is astonishing to note we know very little that about our ancestors who achieved great feats in every conceivable field. Not much is known about them beyond their names, leaving the rest to much speculation. Most things that we know about their life, date and works are sourced from later references, inscriptions and a deeper understanding of their works identified by their unique patterns. Western and modern historians and critics attribute this drawback to the sloppiness of Indians, who did not believe in documenting events or maintaining chronological records.

Yet when we examine the matter deeply, it is not difficult to see that the achievers of the past were sensible and self-effacing people who maintained a low profile.  They knew that they had more to attain beyond earthly accomplishments. They were aware of the infinite sequence of knowledge yet to be discovered or mastered. They were a spiritual lot who spent a lot of time and energy to detach themselves from the cycle of birth and death and concentrated on achieving salvation. Many thinkers, philosophers and theologians worked on answers to questions related to the origin of our creation and life after death. They comprehended about the temporary nature of human life. In other words they understood that they were the microcosm who contributed to the macrocosm.

Their works, discoveries, inventions and achievements at large were dedicated to the immediate societies and the countries they lived in to pursue, upgrade or introduce a reformation. Personal glory took a back-seat in the face of common good. They worked passionately with sheer modesty and a deeper understanding of life. The fact that their works have stood the test of time and the people world over want to know more about them speaks in volumes of their calibre both at the personal and professional levels.

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