Evening at Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 2015
and so does everything around... the situation, the people, the perspective, the needs.... and we too change.... the wise and courageous seek change.. because only change is constant!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

60. Relevance

Thursday is the ‘official’ power cut or load shedding day in my city. From 9.00 in the morning till 5.30 in the evening, there is no electricity. With not so efficient UPS backup at my workplace, I am left with some ‘free time’ on Thursdays. I have a normal human psychology, I mean when the PC is not working; I remember a hell lot of work which could be done only with computers. So, earlier I used to feel a bit irritated with power cuts, lack of backups etc. But once I realized that there was nothing I could do about it, I started looking for alternatives.

One task which always needs my ‘most urgent attention’ is the cleaning of papers lying on the table. (You may also like to read my earlier post ‘Clean Act’. Please, visit http://thistimethattime.blogspot.com/2008/11/clean-act.html ) I have as many as three trays on my table, and whatever I do there are always some papers in those trays. Add some 50+ files, full of papers and you will understand my plight.

I might have many faults, but I have my strengths too. Once I understand the problem, I try to solve it with full determination. So, I religiously take up ‘cleaning’ work, whenever I have such opportunities. And at least once in a month, my dustbin looks like this :)

The other day I was just wondering about my efficiency. Why I am throwing away so many papers? In the first place, it means I am gathering too many unnecessary and unwanted things. Does it mean that my decisions are not right? Does it mean that my preferences are not right? Does it mean that I invest my energy in wrong things? Does this indicate that I am spending much of my time in the things I do not like or I do not want to do? Does this apply to my whole life?

Certainly not. Because most of the things I am throwing away today, were very important at a point of time. What I am keeping today as ‘important’ will have to go to dust bin one day. These papers stay with me until they are important, but their importance is not lifelong. Their power lies in their utility. The moment they cease to be useful, they are out, they are to be thrown away. The secret of their existence is their relevance. The moment they cease to be relevant, they become garbage.

What is true about papers, applies too well to human life. Our importance too is temporary. Whatever power position we might have, it is only temporary. People would value us only until we are ‘useful’ and ‘relevant’. No matter what qualities you have, if you are not relevant, you will be treated as dust.

To be ‘relevant’ is the most important challenge one faces in life.

But we need to ask ourselves: what I am doing today as a compulsion of life, is it relevant to the purpose of my life? After all people’s perceptions regarding relevance keep on changing, but the 'consistency in lifelong relevance' is something which we should strive for – whether we are treated like a king/queen or like a beggar! None of the ‘great’ personalities were treated as ‘relevant’ by their contemporaries.

So, a time comes in our life when ‘relevance’ becomes the most ‘irrelevant’ value!!


  1. Today's pig is tomorrows bacon ! Searching for the supreme truth or the absolute logic will never happen because x -> 0 but never equal to 0 !

  2. relevance is relative!
    that sure was a lot of gyan on a powerless day!

  3. Oh my god! You just reminded me of the pile of papers I have in the drawer of my office table! Gota do something about it!

    And I sometimes wonder, isn't this whole I-have-to-try-my-best-to-make-myself-relevant thing making us business minded?

  4. Brillliant ! Todays ministers are tomorrows candidates and sometimes with the election goes their 'deposit'!

    The essence is to get to this fact. That nothing is permanent. Including 'importance' !

    And phew, from the dustbin all the way up this hill of reason and thought, is some distance indeed.

  5. Gyanban, thanks. But who wants to be equal to 0 now-a-days? That would be end of all ambition and competition.

    magiceye, just think what gyan I would have if there was power ...may be none :) because I would then be busy with my PC.

    Sojo, yep, I am tired of being in the midst of business minded crowds.. It is time we should live for ourselves for a change.

    Kavi, I guess the dustbin could be inspiring sometimes :)

  6. relevant today may not remain the same tomorrow and irrelevant today may become relevant tomorrow...
    too relevant an idea...
    (the best part of the article was its use some very witty and powerful lines..)
    too good!!

  7. I think to be relevant all the time then we have to change and as they say nothing is permanent only change is permanent.

  8. How strange recently I was doing a 'clean up' of my email box and was deleting all unimportant mails which has lost its relevance .... its quite natural...even the search engines implement the sort by relevance...
    so its definitely difficult to maintain relevance all along ...one thing I have learnt is nothing is permanent and with time some things will have to be left out....

  9. Rahul, yes, relevance changes, but it is difficult to understand in the midst of irrelevance!
    Thanks Satya for appreciation.
    Rajyashree, change is permanent.. but the speed of change is something which one has to grapple with.
    Dhiman, yes, cleaning e-mail boxes gives me another moment of this feeling. You are right! We need to learn without some things in life!

  10. according to me this is one of the best blog so far.concept of relevance one experiences in the best way during diwali.while cleaning the nook and corner of the house i gave away so many household things which i thought would be relevant in future but irrelevant for the timebeing.so much true about humanlife also.we should update our relevat and irrelevant factor periodically.since relevance is reletive whice keeps on changing i do not see any permanant factor.

  11. Nutan, relevance changes. But change is constant ... that is what all great people have been saying!


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