Friday, March 7, 2008

Who is one of your personal heroes - Azara Feroz Sayed

Below is Dr Covey's response to Who is one of your personal heroes?

Mahatma Gandhi's personal mission statement was :
Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:
* I shall not fear anyone on Earth.
* I shall fear only God.
* I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
* I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
* I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.”

Dr Covey listened to Gandhi’s granddaughter, Arun Gandhi, talk about his life. Some of her thoughts below :
Ironically, if it hadn’t been for racism and prejudice, we may not have had a Gandhi. See, it was the challenge, the public need for the public victory that developed the private victory. He may have been just another successful lawyer who had made a lot of money. But, because of prejudice in South Africa, he was subjected to humiliation within a week of his arrival. He was thrown off a train because of the color of his skin. And it humiliated him so much that he sat on the platform of the station all night, wondering what he could do to gain justice. His first response was one of anger. He was so angry that he wanted eye for eye justice. He wanted to respond violently to the people that humiliated him. But he stopped himself, and said ‘that’s not right.’ It was not going to bring him justice. It might make him feel good for the moment, but it wasn’t going to get him any justice.
From that point onward, he developed the philosophy of non-violence and practiced it in his life, as well as in his search for justice in South Africa. He ended up staying in that country for 22 years. And then he went and led the movement of India. And that movement ended up with an independent country, something that no one would have ever envisioned.

Dr Covey's comments :
And just think on this, he held no formal authority. No position. Most people think that leadership is a position. It isn’t. Leadership is influence. The key to influence is what we’re talking about. You can have influence without position. So don’t be so dependent upon position or formal authority, but use your moral authority, what you know is right. Gandhi changed over three hundred million people using this. Today there are one billion people in India.

He’s one of my favorite heroes. He learned synergy within himself. He learned to create a third alternative: non-violent action. He was not going to run away, and he wasn’t going to fight. That’s what animals do. They fight and they flight. That’s what people often do, they fight or they flight, they run away. He worked it within himself until he won the private victory and learned the philosophy of his life. Non-violent action; a third alternative.

One of Gandhi's Quote - "You must be the change you wish to see in the world".

Tell us about one of your heroes!
My personal favourite at this point in life - the reason I say at this point in life is - before I met Feroz, My husband - it was my dad whom I admired for his simplicity, sincerity and integrity to life. By Hero, I am referring to a person whom I admire and devote - with whom I am learning everyday about achieving personal victories. Feroz pushes me towards proactiveness, to always work on being in a position of strong negotiation - by honing my knowledge, skills - to claim the good things in life. Always reminding me to be focused on the task at hand and not to be diverted. Something I see him practise all the time - while he is working on a task which needs to be completed by a dead line - he gives up on Internet, TV, talking to friends, sleep. He helps me know my time wasters by pointing out how I spend my time in unimportant stuff like cleaning, cooking when I have a important task to be completed. He would call me out as Type C (Covey's quadrant for not urgent and notimportant tasks) person at such times. I could go on and on.....I thank God for my hero who motivates me towards growing into a better person everyday in all spheres of my life - body, mind, heart and spirit. My personal trainer with whom I fall in love all the more everyday!!

In the context of Covey's Private and Public victory, it would be Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that I would consider as my favourite Hero. I am not sure if everyone is aware that - Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) is not worshipped by Muslims but is considered as a Hero. Muslims adore and follow his life and living. Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) received the words of God (Quran) from Gabriel Angel. He is responsible for giving the rich, beautiful body to Islam. The Holy Quran, words of God, is the soul of Islam. A person who reads the book about the Prophet's life and living - also referred to as Hadith - will know the goodness of Islam. When the word of God was given to the Prophet, and a new religion Islam (Submission to Allah and Allah only and not to anyone else) was formed, the people didn't know how to go about their life in the new religion - they relied on the Prophet's living style (provided in Hadith by his followers) to know how to go about their life in the new religion. The guidlines that the Prophet provided to the people, around 1500yrs ago, to seek and spread knowledge, Charity, Cleanliness are amazing. He like Gandhi didn't have position but influenced people to believe in the word of God and submit to God. He said 'Even a smile or a kind word is charity' or 'removing something harmful from the road is charity'.


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