“He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Respected Principal, teachers and my dear friends. Good morning to one and all. On this beautiful day it is my pleasure to share with you some thoughts on the topic, ‘Fearlessness ‘.
Let me begin by narrating a story. The protagonist of the story is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. One day while he was sleeping on his bed, he was woken up by some noise. As he opened his eyes he saw his commander standing beside his bed having taken hold of a young boy of about 12 years. He asked his commander what the matter was. The commander replied, “Your majesty, this boy was trying to kill you.” Shivaji asked the boy whether it was true and why. The boy said, “Yes, I tried to kill you. My father was a brave and sincere soldier in your army. He was killed in a battle. After his death, there was no one to look after us. My mother is ill and we don’t have enough money to buy the medicines. That was when I met Subhan Rai, your enemy.
When I told him my story he advised me to kill you and in return promised a large amount of money. If your commander hadn’t come at the right time, I would have killed you. “Shivaji was taken aback by the courage and self – confidence of the boy. He told him,” Do you know the punishment you’re going to get for committing this crime?” The boy replied, “I am not a coward. I don’t have any fear of death. But before I am killed please do let me see my mother.” Shivaji asked, “And what if you don’t come back?” The boy said,” If you don’t trust me, then you can send one of your commanders with me.” Shivaji on hearing this let him go alone to see his mother. After the boy went, Tanaji, his commander told him, “Your majesty, I beg your pardon if I am going to sound impertinent, I think you have not done the right thing. What if he doesn’t come back tomorrow?” Shivaji with a smile replied, “He will come before tomorrow’s sunrise.”
The following day as Shivaji was sitting on his throne, one of his guards came with a message that a boy was there to meet him. Shivaji commanded the guard to let the boy in.The boy came in and said, “Your majesty, I have come as i have promised. Now, you can punish me.” Shivaji with tears in his eyes said, “I am sorry for not looking after your family once your father was gone. You deserve a reward ;not a punishment.” Then he ordered the state treasurer to take care of all the expenses of the boy’s education as well as his mother's treatment. Besides, he sent a large sum of money to the boy’s family.
Dear friends, this story shows us how great a virtue fearlessness is. We should never allow fear to take hold of us. Only a fearless person can overcome obstacles and achieve success. We have had many national leaders who were fearless and courageous such as Bhagat Singh, Subash Chandra Bose, Lakshmi Bai and so on. Let us not forget that it was only because of their courage, fearlessness and hard work that we got an independent India. They were not afraid of sacrificing their own lives for achieving a greater goal. They knew that death was inevitable yet they didn't falter or stumble. They lived by the spirit of these words of Shakespeare from his play Julius Caesar, " Cowards die many times before their actual deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once ".
Let us also live by the spirit of these words. May God grant us the strength to a courageous life.