"Is there a greater strength than that of knowledge?" -- Swami Vivekananda
March 2016 was an eventful month. For the first time in the Arab region, the Nobel lecture series was conducted. It was produced by Nobel Media and the Nobel Museum in partnership with Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation and 3M.
The lecture series was piloted in Dubai and aimed to "stimulate innovation and creative thinking through Nobel Laureates, other experts and lifelong learners." The program combined lectures, roundtables, and exhibitions to inspire engagement in different fields of study, especially science.
I was quite fortunate to be sitting in the first row of the audience, and ultra privileged to be in the same room as Dr. George Smoot for a one on one session.
As the event was progressing, my mind was racing. Here I was sitting in front row listening to the best minds of the world and yet I sensed simplicity in their demeanor. All presenters more or less had a similar story to the other; hence, a pattern emerged in my head. Listed are some of my key learning's from their stories:
• All the eminent speakers were passionate about their field of study, and suggested that they never worried much about connections and impressions because whatever resources they needed it aligned naturally in good time.
• We are all human beings. No one is big or small. One may never know what the other person in life might teach you or help you discover.
• Also, all the speakers thought that their success was by accident, and that they were simply doing their job with just sheer fondness.
• Most of the speakers hinted that doors of opportunities opened for them from hidden passages
• Everything in life starts with either curiosity and/ or imagination
• Questioning and Exploring are the key values that human beings should live by in life, and we should train our children to master these life skills.
• Nature is our biggest teacher. It teaches us a lot, only if we have the patience to observe and read between the lines. We should encourage our children to learn from this unending database of knowledge.
From the knowledge sharing of the Nobel lecture series, my own experiences, and observations - I strongly believe that students must be really passionate about what they study. They must like it, and really enjoy it because when one enjoys their work, it becomes a part of their everyday life. It nourishes the soul, and answers come from within. Work becomes simpler; work becomes worship and it is not separate from our being.
Hence, students must choose courses to study where they feel a maximum natural inclination. They should not worry too much about money or opportunities available, as those change with time. Paths get carved, and doors open if one is sincere and passionate about their field of study or work.
It is my hope that the younger generation of today and tomorrow can really benefit from the words above. Finally, I would like to conclude with a quote from Swami Vivekananda:
"The goal of mankind is knowledge... Pleasure is not the goal of man, but knowledge. Pleasure and happiness come to an end. It is a mistake to suppose that pleasure is the goal. The cause of all the miseries we have in the world is that men foolishly think pleasure to be the ideal to strive for... Now this knowledge is inherent in man. No knowledge comes from outside: it is all inside. What we say a man "knows," should, in strict psychological language, be what he "discovers" or "unveils"; what man "learns" is really what he discovers by taking the cover off his own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge... We say Newton discovered gravitation. Was it sitting anywhere in a corner waiting for him? It was in his own mind; the time came and he found it out. All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in your own mind."