Mythology has always guided people since pre-civilization times. India, with its roots deeply buried in rich cultural diversity, has been living through many testing times as a secular nation. Myths and stories prevail all over this peninsular landmass, regardless of which religion had given birth to them. May it be the unparalleled Mahabharata, the Bible or the Holy Quran, lessons for life is the string that tie them together as revered religious epics.
On this effervescent occasion of Diwali, we would like to cite few such valuable lessons that the Ramayana has been imparting time and again, for centuries.
One: For the People
As the King of Ayodhya, Ram exhibited excellent leadership characteristics. The kingdom did not exist for him, but he as its rightful leader, existed for Ayodhya.
To be a true leader, one has to empower people with endowments and not snatch powers from them.
While we work in teams, we often come across people who fall back on us, seeking advice and or holding us in charge of decision-making that has total effects on their lives. Such instances require a leader’s guidance and not conquest.
Two: Leaders Create Leaders
Lord Ram was not in favor of burning Lanka. On realizing this, a guilty yet loyal Hanuman hesitated to make his own decisions. Having understood Hanuman’s plight, Ram ensured that the latter could rediscover his abilities and made way for Hanuman to independently use his powers to rescue him. During the course of the story, Ram created a leader.
Leading is not an eternal action. In fact the very idea of leadership came about in order to multiply exponentially, so that several others get to relive the dynamic experience of being a leader. Teams are dynamic in nature too. They involve change, evolution and growth through effective instillation of competencies in the members. When the right seeds of power are sown, new leaders are born.
The Ramayana is illustration of how we should live life with integrity so those who look up to us as an example will have a good one to follow. From time to time, teams, groups, communities and nations have experienced an epoch of corruption.
The easiest lesson that we know of from the Ramayana is the win of good over bad. Ultimately, it is ethical governance that pays off. Ravan, however evil a person he was, he was equally skilled and talented. His biggest wealth was his intellect and inexhaustible determination. But the parables of his end surfaced the moment he had let go of his morality.
During several instances, we are challenged with situations that tend to pull us towards negative zones. Dishonesty might appear to be the best way out and deceit might look like the only harbinger of peace. However, harboring such thoughts may make peace with the mind temporarily but not with the heart.
This Diwali, explore your leadership potential. Allow yourself to bask in the thoughts of what makes you who you are, what makes you a true leader.
Light up lives and play it safe!
Heartiest wishes from the AIESEC India family!