Lessons from History, Unlikely Heroes

by Charles Premkumar Joseph The people who have made the greatest impact in the world are the people who have had the deepest convictions. People who have fought against all odds for what they believed in. In this talk at the South Asia Executive Programme in Sri Lanka, Charles Premkumar Joseph looks at three significant characters in Indian history who at all costs, held fast to their convictions. In a world of convenience and comfort, Charles reminds us that we need to be people of convictions, holding strong to what we believe in.

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Beyond the Visible

Winters, in the north-eastern part of India, especially Shillong where I live, can be bitingly cold, and more so when it rains. One year, the winter was particularly wet, and for weeks on end there seemed no respite from the cold. One gloomy day followed another with nothing to lighten the dismal scene of overcast skies and thick blankets of cloud stretched like a shroud from one end of the horizon to the other. Suffocated by the cheerless gloom that had pervaded my very heart and soul, small woes and anxieties that had seemed miniscule before, now seems threateningly gigantic. […]

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Seventy Years Of Freedom?

The idea of freedom resonates with the idea of release — to be free. It has been 70 years since India became independent. The shackles of the British Raj fell. We have achieved release in one very important sense. However, have we experienced release internally? We are tangled by several pressures. The pressure at work to prove yourself. The pressure to live up to your neighbour’s standards. Somehow ‘comfort zone’ has become a bad thing. In other words, we are all seeking happiness by running away from it the moment we find it. Dissatisfaction, the enemy of contentment, thrusts us […]

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Methods or Messiah

We are all wired differently, aren’t we? Some of us are the intellectual types and some emotional, some are action-driven and so on. In my pursuit of God, I confess I am inclined to loving with all my mind and it doesn’t seem to demand much laboring. It’s rather effortless for the most part. I’m quite pleased with myself here: a specialist-of-sorts, in loving God with my intellect, I am! But Jesus doesn’t leave his request in this one dimension. The greatest commandment he says is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your […]

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A Time to Grieve

Recently, a colleague sought an explanation regarding the untimely death of a friend. It was one of those questions that exposes the vulnerability of a confident apologist. How one wishes that the dots could be connected, the blanks filled, and a satisfying response proffered. But lo and behold, that is not to be. In some questions, an agnostic stance appears more honest and reasonable. It’s no wonder Job’s friends made more sense in their silence than in their speeches. In that ancient story of a life whose struggles are articulated exhaustively, Job’s pain is something we still grapple with millennia […]

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