Dean Of SPJIMR - Dr. Ranjan Banerjee's Inspiring Yearbook Message for the Graduating Students
When I joined SPJIMR, I joined on the same day as the fresh batch of our 2 year MBA program. That batch recently convocated. I am sharing a yearbook message I wrote for the batch. Many who know me well may find it interesting. Shared below:
It is with mixed feelings that I write a farewell message to the batch of 2017. We joined the institute together; when I spoke at your batch inauguration, it was my first batch inauguration at SPJIMR. When I spoke of the growth mindset at PG Lab, it was the first time I had exposed my ideas on this subject to a student audience. The first ever ethics class I took was for your batch. My legs shook beneath the podium when I sang on stage for the first time, and the rhythmic hand-clapping from your batch ensured that my musical debut was not a complete disaster. I have grown with you, learned with you, and shared many a moment with you. You were the batch which gave meaning to #iamspjimr.
What do I wish for you? I wish that as you go forth, you exemplify courage and heart.
It does not take courage to follow the herd. To gossip about people behind their back. To change yourself to be more like the herd to fit in. To do ‘whatever it takes’ to be liked by peers and colleagues.
It takes courage to realise that being respected is more important than being liked. It takes courage to demonstrate respect for others when the herd instinct says that shared vices and pulling down people who are ‘different’, is a quick road to popularity.
It takes courage to accept your mistakes. It takes courage to ask yourself what you enjoy, and continue asking that question even it makes you uncomfortable. It takes courage to struggle and improve when things seem terribly difficult at work.
Courage and heart go together. You do not get hurt if you do not care for your work, for your colleagues, for causes that matter, for your friends and family. However, if you do not care, you are less likely to experience the special moments - an employee reaching beyond his limits and thanking you for it, a special, shared moment with a family member, a shared experience where you take on a real issue and change things- in small but noticeable ways, the warm feeling of increased self-belief when you overcome a fear and surprise yourself.
Courage and heart imply that you retain the courage to dream, not just today, but for the rest of your lives. It hurts when our dreams crash, but there is a worse feeling - the feeling of numbness and cynicism that accompanies the desire to be practical and stop dreaming.
At another level, courage and heart also imply bringing your passion to whatever you do, and not making premature judgements about what you are good at (or not good at). For talent emerges from struggle, and it is ‘courage and heart’ which allow you to persist in the face of negative judgements which society will throw at you from time to time.
I know that you will find ‘the courage to dream’ and ‘the heart to chase that dream.’ Sooner or later, you will then find, ‘The seen world is no longer a reality. The unseen world is no longer a dream’.
We stop dreaming when we stop believing in ourselves. I know you will not let that happen. As you chase your dreams, we will be on the sidelines, cheering, watching with pride as you stumble, get up, run, stumble, always moving forward, with a smile on your lips and the light in your eyes.
You are moving forward on a wondrous journey of life. We are privileged to have been participants and mentors for a part of that journey. Our paths will cross again, and we will both be richer for each meeting.
I wish you all the best. A little bit of me goes with you. In the ultimate analysis, you are SPJIMR. Vaya con dios.