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Personalising Success

Three men were marooned on an uninhabited island.  As they sat desperate and disheartened, unable to find a way out of the dreadful place, the spirit of the island appeared to them.  Having had no association with human beings hitherto, the spirit was untouched by malice or evil.  “Make a wish and I can grant it,” offered the spirit genially.  “Get me back to my people,” wished the first man and his wish was granted instantly.  The second man too wished the same and he too joined his people back home.  “What about you?” the spirit asked the third man.  “I’m feeling so lonely here without those two friends.  I wish they were back here.”

A good friend of mine made a couple of comments on one of my recent blog posts.  In one of the comments she suggested that I should learn to personalise success when I had argued that living in a world run by crooks and sharks good people would find success too elusive a thing.  A few minutes back she sent me a whatsapp message which implied that my problem was my credulousness.  I trust people who don’t deserve my trust, she wrote. 

Her message reminded me of the joke about the three marooned men. 

My friend is right, of course.  I never learnt how to live in a society.  I won’t ever.  That’s one of my many shortcomings.  Ego, my benefactors have labelled it.  And I have always thought of my benefactors as that third man on the island. 

The friend who made the comments and the message has always been much kinder than my self-anointed benefactors.  She is not as unimaginative as the third man on the island. 

Suppose I was the third man on the island.  Would I have asked for blissful solitude on the island?  Is that the only way I know of personalising success? 

The genial spirit smiles at me and asks, “Why do you want to ruin my blissful solitude?” 


  1. The genial spirit seems to be the Reluctant Messiah of Illusions by Richard Bach.

    1. Now you remind me of the Reluctant Messiah. But hasn't there been too many people who would choose solitude if it was possible? Most of the Romantic poets would.

      I think Jesus would have had he not been crucified.

  2. Tomichan, You are fine just the way you are, the right intellect, the right sense of humor, a great of not pulling punches, Which is why you are respected and loved in the blogsphere..tell the genial genie to take a holiday.

    1. The virtual world of blogging has always been quite ok with me, Sharmila. I have been less fortunate in the actual world which has led me to believe in destiny :)

      Nothing really matters much. It's a short life anyway.

  3. Too good a post it is, sir. I con connect well with your idea of personalised success. The third man prefering solitude over societal rank on that index is what exactly I think each of us should follow.

    1. No, Pranju. Each one has to follow her own heart. You being a poet and bit of a rebel find yourself on my side. But there are many who like to ascend the societal ladders.


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