Monday, 6 May 2013

“Professor and Student – A Short Story on Attitude” - Professor M.S.Rao

“Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.” - Dale Carnegie"

Once I presided as a judge for a conference on paper presentation for a prestigious business school. As a judge I had immense powers to shortlist the three best presenters.  Along with me two more judges also presided.  Our role was to judge the presentations made by students on various parameters, compile our assessments and shortlist the top three winners for giving away prizes.

One of the presenters, Susan who was my student in my previous educational institution came to me greeted with excitement, “How are you Sir? After four years I am seeing you here as a judge.”  She was all smiles by seeing me as she met me after four years. In fact, she was the topper in my previous institution who won gold medal. I reciprocated her by controlling my excitement and asked her to present her paper. All students in the conference hall including other two judges came to know that we were known to each other much earlier.

Susan delivered her presentation amazingly well covering the various aspects in length, breadth and depth. Internally I was concerned if I gave her the highest rating my co-judges and the students might think that I favored her.  I provided my feedback for Susan and kept it aside. All students presented their papers. We compiled, averaged and shortlisted the best three students.  But Susan could not stand in the top three prizes. I was deeply upset within myself for my inability to give her rating although she deserved to be one of the three top winners.  

After completion of the conference paper, I was going with other judges to my car. Susan who was waiting for me came forward and said, “How are you Sir? I am very happy that I met you here after four years.” I said, “I am sorry, I could not give you any prize although I was the judge with immense powers.”  She replied, “I came here with a sole aim of winning the prize for our educational institution. Now I got the real prize - that is you.  I met you after four years. I am truly excited by meeting you! Every student wants to meet a passionate professor like you. This is the biggest of all prizes any student can receive.”  She added, “In fact, I made a mistake as I failed to control my emotions when I saw you after four years and greeted you on the dais in front of all students.” I said, “I am also excited by seeing you but my hands were tied. And I am sure you will come up in your life with your great attitude.”

The essence out of this story is to have a great attitude whether you win or lose. In fact, the true character of the person is known only when s/he loses. Susan presented a great character despite not winning any prize. Above all, she demonstrated a great attitude to be emulated by all students.

It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters." – Epictetus

Life is great!

Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
Professor M.S.Rao Born for the Students

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