A Purpose in Life
Read the following passage and answer the following questions:-
A noble purpose gives meaning to one’s own life and is of benefit to others. I realized this while researching on and writing about the life of Jamshed jee Tata. What gave one man living in a colonized country the vision to advance it in the community of nations? He not only gave India the power to steel and hydroelectric energy but also an institution of research.
He sent an educationist to Europe and the United States to report on what should be the best model for India. The John Hopkins University in Baltimore was recommended as the model. But Jamshed Ji Tata made it a point to see that his name was not associated with the university. Lifter his death, his dream came true with the establishment of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore (Bengaluru). It was to be a fountainhead of science in the decades to come.
There are others too whose purpose in life has made a difference in society. Mother Teresa had a comfortable life at Loretto Convent, Calcutta (Kolkata). On a train journey to Darjeeling, she felt her ‘calling’ and wanted to give up her comfortable life in the convent and serve the poor and the needy.
After that, she took a three-month nursing course and returned to Calcutta (Kolkata). She devoted her time to the sick and the homeless. Touched by her sacrifice, some of her students joined her and work began. Not everyone has such a strong calling. When I asked her how one could be sure of one’s calling, she replied. “Deep down in our hearts we know exactly what our calling is if we are sincere.”
One’s purpose is shaped over a period of time, but every noble purpose is based on a feeling for the suffering of others and our desire for alleviating that condition. Some years ago, in Kerala, a young man saw his father join Gandhiji and fight for opening temples to the Harijans. When he grew up, the boy decided to take up agricultural studies, because he had seen the havoc caused by the Bengal famine. He went to Europe and studied agriculture. On his return to India, he spearheaded the Green Revolution. Dr M.S. Swaminathan demonstrates how purpose intensifies with time.
(a) Bring out the unique character traits of Jamshed Ji Tata.
(b) Why did he send an educationist to Europe and the USA?
(c) Mention two facts about the Indian Institute of Science.
(d) How did Mother Teresa start working for the poverty-stricken?
(e) What was the first step Mother Teresa took?
(f) How can we find our calling?
(g) Is it possible to find one’s calling within a short period? Why/Why not?
(h) What do we learn from the life of M.S. Swaminathan?
(a) Jamshed Ji Tata was a far-sighted visionary who gave India hydroelectric and steel power and also a research institute.
(b) He wanted to set up an institution of research in India and thus, sent an educationist to report on the best model.
(c) It was set up in Bengaluru by Jamshed Ji Tata
(d) Mother Teresa, on a train journey to Darjeeling, found her calling, and decided to help the poverty-stricken.
(e) She took a three-month nursing course and returned to Kolkata to help the needy.
(f) As per Mother Teresa, if one is sincere, deep in one’s heart, one will know exactly what one’s calling is.
(g) It is possible to find one’s calling within a short period because it is based on the noble purpose of alleviating suffering, and that can be felt anytime.
(h) M.S. Swaminathan’s life demonstrates how life purpose intensifies with time.
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