JournalismPakistan.com April 10, 2015
So I meet this friend who was way ahead of the class as youngsters and destined for room at the top… but he settled for the third floor.
I am a fugitive from success, he says, I chose not to chase the rainbow or reach for the stars and I am quite content to be part of the team, don’t want to be the team leader.
Fugitive from success. What an intriguing phrase.
But you were way ahead of the game, I repeat my sentiment, why did you fall out?
I didn’t fall out, I just didn’t want to play the game that way. Look at me, I have time with my family, I am not rushing around madly collecting boy’s toys, I don’t need to keep looking over my shoulder to see who is catching up, I want very little and I have more than little, I am good, I am nicely contented and even have time to take care of my health.
And he keeps on. I am not mediocre, I never settled for that, I just settled for a slower lane because then I can see the scenery, enjoy the view, actually have friends not connections, do some good works and there is nothing hectic about it.
Then he says: I did a little research of my own. There are many of us who are not scared of the penthouse but we just don’t want to go that high, we don’t need the thick piling on the carpet. You know when I jumped off the perks and pelf bandwagon and told myself this is rushing about in circles until one is giddy, everyone thought I was nuts. I don’t ride a bicycle and I have a flat screen TV and I buy books and use my computer effectively, I just didn’t want to be the boss or be too rich and damned by my own excess, this is fun.
What he couldn’t understand was that if there were those who had to make it to the top and strove endlessly for more and more and more why couldn’t there be those right on the flip side who said, oh skip the limo, I’ll take bus.
He looked happy. And relaxed and not the least bit heroic in his austerity. I came away thinking is there a lesson there, are there many people like that, very smart, very savvy with great potential who want to hide their light under a bushel and not climb onto a high horse.
Lesson for those A type personalities and the overachievers and those who drive themselves frenziedly and believe they have won the race.
My classmate, he doesn’t race… he is a fugitive from success.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today andBahrain Tribune)
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