Prominent or Significant!

11 Aug

There are many prominent humans out there. We keep knowing about them all the time, through multiple media that continue to bombard our senses with news, insights, visuals and comments about them.
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Sometimes we wonder how in the world are they considered prominent – at least many of them, who also happen to be notorious, one way or another! Unfortunately, the sheep that we are, we keep getting attracted to their prominence, helplessly and hopelessly. We s/elect them to power or adore, worship and make them even more popular – and sometimes far more powerful – than they deserve to be.
Mask2Most celebrities fall under this category. They are prominent, irrespective of whether they have made any meaningful contributions to fellow humans – on wellbeing or wisdom or whatever. We adore them and feel gratified when they are feted and given a vast amount of publicity, as if all that is meant for ourselves. And repeat it, over and over again. The silent philanthropists – including but not limited to movie stars – who take time out to make a difference in people’s lives are an exception.
There were and are many humans out there who have made significant contributions to humankind. On science, medicine, technology, spirituality, education, wealth, politics and so on. We get to know about them either when their contribution is celebrated or debated. Or when they leave the mortal coil. And during their anniversaries.
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Fortunately, because they are significant, their contributions continue to live on, long after they are gone. Despite the fact that we don’t adore or worship them for their significant contribution to making humankind better, which they certainly deserve but hardly receive, at least when they are alive. 
charles-darwinMany scientists (whose discovery or invention translated into something that functions), thinkers (those who also happen to be articulate), authors (not the pulp-fiction type) and even politicians (certainly not the ones who rush to the well of the parliament and shout slogans, shaming not just themselves but the thousands who voted them to power and the nation itself) belong to this category. Most may not be celebrities, which doesn’t diminish their contributions in any way. Popular scientists like Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins are an exception.
We all have the choice to seek either prominence or significance in Life. In whatever we do. Or plan to. Or seek to be.
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The celebrities (and wannabes) choose the former, i.e. prominence, invariably. It’s a choice and they do have the liberty to make that choice in a democratic nation or culture. Many get entrenched in the popularity trap, until it takes a huge toll on their Life. That doesn’t prevent the rest to tag along, despite their notoriety and at times blatantly stupid acts.
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Celebrity1A million followers on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, shows that prominent humans are wildly popular, notoriety and stupidity notwithstanding. This inevitably misleads millions of young followers to mimic their lives, thereby destroying their own. Sad, but true.
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The knowledge seekers and value makers choose the latter, aka significance, always. They don’t give a hoot about publicity popularity – during their lifetime or after. Their focus is on translating an idea or thought into reality, for making something better, faster or easier. Or creating something new out of the blue. Many of them end up spending a lifetime pursuing just one thing. That doesn’t mean the rest has to ignore them, despite their abject disregard for any kind of acknowledgement or high praise.
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APJ18And then there are a few who managed to remain prominent, while making significant contributions. The late APJ Abdul Kalam became the most prominent citizen – the 11th President of India, and became popular as the beloved People’s President – but has also managed to make significant contributions on a variety of fields such as rocket science (that made India a prominent player on satellite launch space), nation building (a magnificent vision for this once-great nation’s bright & better future), healthcare (lightweight prosthetic leg and a cheaper coronary stent) and education (teaching & guiding University students and inspiring children & youth nationwide). Unarguably an exception, he is certainly not alone in the march of humankind through the long pages of evolutionary history.
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Thinking2Prominence doesn’t last. Significance does. Time and time again. Even the prominent People’s President was denied a well-deserved second term of presidency by the wily politicians (intriguingly, another powerful nation – also democratic – offered a second term to a not-so popular President, pretty much on a platter, not so long ago in history). But his significant contributions in many spaces shall outlast several generations (not so intriguingly, the other 2-term President of that other powerful nation, remains insignificant now, ignored by his own ilk, despite being very much alive).
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Whatever you’ve been trying to accomplish in Life (hazarding an assumption that you indeed are trying, still!), take a long hard look at what do you seek to be – Prominent or Significant? Your choice is as important to you as it is to the rest of human species, as you never know what significant impact your work can have on others.
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Spider1None of us may know (and probably the entire human species never will) who the inventor of the wheel (yep, that simple circular thingamajig that moves all kinds of – not just -vehicles) was. Despite the lack of his/her prominence, the shape of the wheel is so significant that it not only hasn’t been tinkered with by any, even after many a century, but also gave us an oft-repeated phrase “Don’t reinvent the Wheel!”
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Irrespective of whether you end up becoming prominent in your chosen space or not, make sure whatever you do is significant. Prominence tempts, but significance triumphs. Life is full of choices. When it comes to doing and being (and needless to say, living), the most prominent choice of yours could very well turn out to be the most significant!
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GoogleP.S. When Swamy published the blog post “Prominent or Significant!” on 11-Aug-2015, he didn’t expect it to be validated swiftly, by the rise of a humble person from #NammaChennai, with a conscious low profile persona, to a very prominent position, way high up in the#technology space 🌏- propelled primarily by his significant contributions to not just the growth of the tech behemoth 📈 (which is obvious) but also due to the widespread adoption of his implemented ideas 💭🔮 by the vast masses of users, worldwide. 👌 Swamy, for instance, useas an Android Phone (LG G3), Tablet (Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1) & Chrome browser – not just on his PCs running Microsoft Windows 10, but even on his Apple Macbook Pro. All of them, have been under this gentleman’s leadership for a while now!
Kudos #SundarPichai for your elevation as #CEO 👑of the big G, aka#Google. 👏May Grace 🙌 be with you for a purposeful #Lifeoverflowing with novel ideas that make #Life better & joyful for everyone, everywhere. 😌
And one more thing👆… Thanks for being the proof-of-concept for @PrakashSwamy‘s ‘Prominent or Significant’ #idea, which most certainly will propel his own thoughts & ideas for “Human Potential DISCovery + NURTURE©“, further & farther. 👍
@PrakashSwamy
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