All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts
- William Shakespheare (from As You Like It)
I heard this many a times, but it is now that I have come to see
relevance of this quote in all our lives. If we go by the quote and
assume that the world is a stage and we are all actors, then there are
some questions that arise and some ideas that we can infer from that
- What should be the aim of the actors (meaning us)? The aim of the
actors is ONLY to play the role as best as possible. And this is the
only objective of the person. The individual should put all his efforts
to make the best performance. Does this mean that the people who play
the bad roles have to be as bad as possible, because their role demands that?
But shouldn't I know the script to play my role well ?
- There are both good and bad roles. Gandhiji said "Hate the crime
and not the criminal". This is very apt. An individual might be
playing multiple roles simultaneously. So if the individual has
to play one bad role, then it doesn't mean that the individual
is to be hated because of that role. Valmiki was a hunter in his early
life. If this was believed then a thief/rebel would be accepted into
the society very easily, than the way it is now.
- Which are the real roles and which are manufactured/fake roles?
- How do I know what my actual role is?
- It's the role that is important and not the one who is playing it. This
is a very important inference, because if each one of us assimilates
this then there will not be any vanity. Everybody who plays his role,
would be given the respect no matter how supposedly small/insignificant
role that he is playing. Individuals who are achievers or considered
to be successful, often have lot of vanity, because they think that it
is they who had achieved this all by themselves. But this is not true.
It's the circumstances (or the role) that have brought them there.
Rather, it's the role that is great and not the person. All the
individual did was to play his role to his best and ofcourse he should
be applauded for doing that. The individual should not forget that,
the role that he played could have been played by somebody else too.
If not Mahatma Gandhi somebody else,
If not Nathuram Godse somebody else,
If not Bhagat Singh somebody else,
If not Sachin Tendulkar somebody else,
If not Rahul Dravid somebody else,
If not Abraham Lincoln somebody else,
If not Einstien somebody else,
If not Hitler somebody else,
If not Lance Armstrong somebody else,
If not Narayan Murthy somebody else,
If not Mother Theresa somebody else,
If not Norman Borlaug somebody else,
If not Verghese Kurien somebody else,
If the people see the distinction between the role and the actor, then
they would not set the goal to be Sachin Tendulkar but rather to be a
great batsmen. Unfortunately the society gives more importance to the
actor than the role as the role is very abstract and it doesn't have
[There's a lot of relevance in the workplace. Once people realize that
it's the goal that matters and that all their roles are created to
achieve that goal, and their only objective is to play their roles
to perfection then they would compare their performances and not
their compensations. They would not care about recognitions and
Service above self. (Put the quote in hindi -- seva parmodharma).
If people realize that it is their role in the larger goal that is
important, people would cooperate with each other in working towards
the goal inspite of their differences. Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi
would have continued playing together, if they would have realized this,
if they would have understood that the individual should yield to the
- Every role has significance. Just like the character of the (almost
completely disconnected) squirrel in the "Ice Age 2" movie, whch
plays a major role in the movie, by unknowingly saving all the
animals, everybody's role is of significance irrespective of how
small/minor it is.
- Separation of concerns. We have to play multiple roles simultaneously.
And as mentioned above, our objective should be to play all these
roles they best way we can. And to do this we have to keep them all
separated, without allowing any role to influence any other role in
- Detachment. Once you step out somebody else will step in and all that
you were because of the role that you played, is gone. You should be
ready to accept this fact. You should realize that all that you are
getting as part of playing the role will not be available once you
cease to play your role and that you should not try to hold onto those.
There will always be cases when you'll find a person who can play the
role better than you, and then you should righteously give way to him.
- Relentless pursuit of perfection. Perfection is ideal and it can never
be achieved. And that's the reason why
For every Sampras there is a Federer,
For every Gavaskar there is a Sachin,
For every Newton there is an Einstien,
So individuals should strive to push the limits to reach perfection in
whatever they do.
- Just like most of the plays/stage which have a happy ending, will there
be a time when every individual will be happy? Will there be a time when all
the bad roles transform into good roles and there will no longer be any bad
- Why attribute success to a single individual and honor/appreciate/recognize
/appreciate only him/her, when there are lot of people involved in it? Is
it because all of them cannot be praised, because humans dont want equality,
because an individual would be happy when he is shown as above the rest? Is
it because he/she has set an example, and doing this would inspire others
to follow him/her? But should you make people to work for recognitions than
work for work itself?