Monday, January 17, 2011

Are majority of the great and influential people socially challenged?

Yesterday I attended a presentation by a person with an amazing, influential personality. The audience enamored by his personality and willingness to be associated with him, asked him if he was on Facebook or Orkut. He said “No I don’t believe in them, I am a private person”. This triggered a subconscious thought that was incubating in my mind for a long time. I asked myself “Are majority of the great and influential people socially challenged?”
Some analogies ran across my mind “Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison”, great scientists known for their innovative bent of mind and scientific contribution to the society. They had numerous students, colleagues, teachers, scientific peers but hardly had friends.
“Mahatma Gandhi and King Martin Luther”, successful leaders known for their courage to define history and transform nations in their unique way. They had numerous mentors, followers, disciples, supporters and peer fraternity but hardly had friends.
“Narayan Murthy and Ratan Tata”, successful entrepreneurs, great and influential personalities known for their vision and values with which they redefined modern India. They have mentors, followers, well wishers, supporters, colleagues and peer fraternity but have only handful of friends.
It seems, all these people have differentiated themselves from the rest of the mass because they had/have unique thought process. They are public figures but they belong to none. The evident reasoning that goes with the fact that they do not spend more time with friends as they spend more time with themselves, interacting with their conscious. As rationale defines, they are more aware and responsive to their inner voice and would not like that inner voice to fade away by external social networking noise. Consequently they are self sufficient in their own ways and are incompatible/different in their ideologies from rest of the crowd.
As they grow up the ladder, they grow lonelier because such paths are rare, isolated and are not often travelled by many people. I suppose this very fact doesn’t scare these souls as they are obsessed by a larger vision, a bigger cause and relentlessly follow their inner voice.