Respected teachers and my dear students,
Each year brings new opportunities and responsibilities. Today we are witnessing an emotional moment when members of the Students Union are assuming office. The torch of excellence for which our Institution is known for has been passed on to them. Now what is so special about it?
It is special because the making of the most colourful moments of Campus life have been entrusted by the majority to a select few. So it is a time for them to see possibilities ahead. It is time for them to dream and work hard to make them come real. And we are gathered here to unite and rally behind them and offer them our whole-hearted support and encouragement to them. Members of the Student Union, We do this with all our heart!
I would like to bring to your kind attention 3 watchwords: They are
Let me take a few moments to highlight them for you.
As we think about focus, let us think about a man going to forest to shoot bears. As he goes inside with his loaded gun, he sees rabbits and is excited to see them run. So he shoots them as they are easy targets. But at the end of the day he comes home without having shot a bear because he did not focus on his real target.
So dear friends, if you plan to do something big this year for the welfare of the students focus sharply on that one thing. Do not get distracted by small rabbits. Or think about light. What power it has when it is concentrated like a laser beam. It can cut through the toughest materials. Simply because light is made to intensely focus on an object.
So let your first watch word be focus.
Secondly we come to leadership. Traditionally we understand leadership to mean someone in a place of authority. Dear friends let us redefine leadership. Instead of thinking of leadership as a position, think of it as influence. What is the influence you have on your community as a professional or even as an individual? Is it positive? Are you ready to become the salt of the earth giving taste by its influence and preserving the moral fabric of society?
Let me cite an example. Think about Yousuf Malala. I hope all you are familiar with her face. The 2013, 2014 and 2015 issues of Time magazine featured Malala as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.” This teenage girl has influenced the world not because of any position she held but the courage she showed in the midst of great difficulty.
So let your second watchword be Leadership through influence.
Now it is time to look at the last watchword. It is Action. No amount of planning is going to do wonders if it is not acted upon. And taking action inspires others to follow your example. Let me ask you how many of you would like to walk the street at night when the street lights are not shining? Not me, not you! But how did the practice of street lighting begin? It was the example of one man who took action to light a lamp to dispel darkness.
Sir Benjamin Franklin lived in the city of Philadelphia. He was the postmaster there. One day he hung a lighted lantern in front of his home to dispel some darkness and cheer travellers at night. After a few days, some of his neighbours followed his example and soon the city of Philadelphia was bathed in light at night.
Thus one man’s action and example influenced an entire city. So do not plan for ever. Take bold and decisive action. Others will follow your example.
Let me conclude:
Forget your differences and unite with one heart and mind to make this year one of the most memorable and colourful of your Campus Life ever. Remember after you leave this place, you have only nostalgic memories to hold on to.
Take to heart the three watchwords I spelled out for you. Stay focused. Strive for leadership through influence. And take decisive and bold action and others will follow your good example.
In this way you can be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. There is no greater calling in your profession than this. I wish this Students Union God’s blessings and all success.