The world as we know it was very different once upon a time. The idea of universal democracy still hadn’t taken root and despair and hopelessness was common place. The oppressed accepted eternal condemnation and subjugation under the oppressors as their destiny, and the moral fiber of mankind seemed to run thin amongst all. However, there was one man who still refused to lose faith in the underlying fabric of our humanity and drew inspiration from the small acts of kindness and humility he witnessed even in the darkest of times. This man had the courage to aspire to bring about a radical change in a society colored by racial tensions. And it was this very man who battled against all odds and ultimately laid the foundation of our present day democracy on the principle of universal equality. This man was none other than Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States of America, Father of the 13th Amendment to the constitution that finally outlawed slavery once and for all.
Our society today may seem very different from the time of Lincoln, with democracy reigning supreme in most parts of the world. However another crisis has come knocking at our doors, this time an economic one. The economic climate throughout has been fettered with financial tensions and resource scarcity; and in times like these the need of the hour is to find inspired leaders who can aspire for great heights and achieve them with determination and skill. We need men and women with courage in their hearts to conquer seemingly insurmountable odds and usher in an era of economic stability and accelerated growth for the greater good of all.
In the words of the great write Napoleon Hill “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Once an idea takes root in the mind of a person, it acts akin to the most resilient of parasites, driving the individual to an obsession. It inspires him to strive long and hard to for the fulfillment and actualization of that idea, and becomes the purpose of his life. This inspiration then gives the individual the courage to aspire to lofty goals never even dreamed of by the society before and helps him carve a path to reach those goals. And finally, that cherished moment of glory comes knocking when the same individual achieves his dream and sees the very same idea in action in the real world around him. Such moments are rare in our lives, but in the end they are what make it worth our while. It thus becomes our moral responsibility to aspire for greatness and strive to achieve it in every manner possible; and hence not only would we do ourselves a great service but also bring about a positive transformation.
This world hangs in a delicate balance today, with the twin weights of economic uncertainty and growing environmental concerns debilitating the delicate equilibrium we have worked so hard to achieve. Inspiration is a rare commodity indeed. Even rarer is the inspired leader who has the courage to aspire to lofty goals, keeping the common good of the society in mind. And perhaps rarest still is that gem of a person who has the commitment and the skill to achieve what he or she aspired for and herald a new age of economic prowess. We at IIM Bangalore hope to emulate as well as inculcate the same spirit of perseverance and resourcefulness at Vista ’13 this year, the biggest and brightest conglomeration of the leaders of tomorrow. Celebrating this magnanimity of vision, the theme of Vista for this year has been kept as ‘Inspire. Aspire. Achieve.’