Friday, 4 July 2014

“Opportunity Knocks Your Door Only Once – A Short Story” - Professor M.S.Rao

"Do not suppose opportunity will knock twice at your door." - Sebastien Chamfort

I have seen many people during my lifetime who fail to identify opportunities. Worse, there are people who ignore opportunities when thrown at them and take them for granted with an intention to avail them later. Unfortunately, they regret at the end. Here goes the story of a teacher and student.  

Prakash was a teacher who conducted training sessions to many students to various colleges in a big educational group. The group consisted of more than 10,000 students spreading out in various colleges. Hence, he could not remember the names of all students. However, he remembered the faces of some students who greeted him.  Shruti was a very bright student who greeted the teacher regularly. Hence, the teacher developed a positive impression on her. The teacher had the habit of carrying a book with him and gifting it whenever he found students with a good attitude when he was walking in the campus.

One day when the teacher was going to address students in a huge gathering, Shruti greeted him on the way outside the venue. She was along with her friends. Although the teacher was busy to go to the venue, he stopped for a moment and asked her name as he could not remember the names of all students. She told her name as Shruti. He took out a book from his bag and said that he would gift a book to her. She asked, “Why you are giving this book to me, why not to other students who were with me?” The teacher replied that he was impressed with her attitude and behavior, and hence he was thinking to gift the book to her. He also added that he had only one book to gift. She told that other students were also with good attitude and behavior. Then the teacher kept the book inside as he was not interested to argue with her and also felt that other students might upset if he gave book to her alone. Above all, he was getting late to address a gathering of students.  He left the place quickly and went inside the venue.  Upon seeing the teacher, a few students were excited and escorted him to be seated in the first row. He would be invited to the dais to be seated later when the meeting starts. Then one of the students, Sampath who regularly greeted the teacher came forward and greeted him politely. The teacher knew Sampath since long by his name as the latter met him to seek career guidance. The teacher said that he would gift the book to him and asked for his full name to be written on the book. Sampath was excited hearing that he would receive the book as a gift from the teacher. Sampath told his full name and the teacher wrote the name and was about to gift it to him. Then Sampath requested him to gift the book in the presence of a huge gathering when the meeting starts. The teacher appreciated it, and kept the book with him.  

The teacher addressed the gathering with his inspiring messages and the students applauded. He told the coordinator of the meeting to invite Sampath to the dais to receive the book as a gift.  The coordinator told to the person who was anchoring the event to call Sampath on the dais. It was none other than Shruti who argued with the teacher sometime back when the latter was about to gift her book.  She announced the name of Sampath who came forward with excitement to receive the book in the presence of a huge gathering. The teacher gifted the book to Sampath and the entire audience applauded. Everybody was happy in the gathering except Shruti. Tears were rolling out from the eyes of Shruti as she was offered the book outside the venue before the meeting but she involved into arguments thus losing this opportunity of receiving book from the teacher. It was very awkward that she was the anchor and she had to announce the name of Sampath to receive the book which, in fact, was offered to her initially.  

From this story, the message is obvious that opportunity knocks your door only once. People don’t realize the opportunities and involve into arguments and lose their opportunities. At times, people take the opportunities for granted. Hence, “never so ‘yes’ too late and never say ‘no’ too soon.” Use your presence of mind to avail the opportunity when it knocks your door.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” - Thomas A. Edison

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