Learning How to Fly: Life Lessons for the Youth
Paperback – 21 Oct 2016
- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Rupa Publications India; First edition (21 October 2016)
- Language: English
- Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam had a great belief in the power of the youth. He met over 21 million children and young people in India and outside and spoke to them about the power of knowledge, ambition, moral behavior and the need to bring about change in society. He travelled to almost every corner of the country meeting the youth in schools, universities and institutions and interacted with them like a committed teacher. In Learning How to Fly some of his nearly 2, 000 lectures have been compiled. These lectures were addressed to teachers and students in school and beyond. In each one of them he has spoken about preparing oneself best for life, to identify and overcome challenges and how to bring out the best within each individual. Through stories from his own life, those of his teachers and mentors as well as stories of some of the greatest men and women of the world and the latest developments in science and technology, he shows us the importance of dreams and the hard work needed to turn those dreams into reality. Filled with warmth, inspiration and a positive attitude, Learning How to Fly is essential reading for every Indian, young and old
About the Author
Born on 15 October 1931, at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam specialized in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. Dr. Kalam was one of the most distinguished scientists of India and was awarded the Padma Bhushan (1981), the Padma Vibhushan (1990) and India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna (1997). Dr. Kalam became the eleventh President of India on 25 July 2002. His focus and greatest ambition was finding ways to transform India into a developed nation.
From the Publisher
Conversation with A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
I Will Fly
I am born with wings So, I am not meant for crawling, I have wings, I will fly.
Dear students and teachers, I would like to share few thoughts on how to achieve the goals in life. There are some proven steps:
• Finding an aim in life before you are twenty years old;
• Acquire knowledge continuously to reach this goal;
• Work hard and persevere so you can defeat all the problems and succeed.
There is a famous verse ‘I will fly’ by the thirteenth-century Persian Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi:
I will fly I am born with potential I am born with goodness and trust I am born with ideas and dreams I am born with greatness I am born with confidence I am born with wings So, I am not meant for crawling,
I have wings, I will fly
I will fly and fly.
Young friends, education is the instrument that gives you wings to fly. Only when your subconscious mind says ‘I will win’ and you believe you can reach your goal, does it become a reality.
Each one of you assembled here and elsewhere, have wings of fire. The wings of fire lead to knowledge which will make you fly as doctors, or engineers, or scientists, or teachers, or political leaders, or bureaucrats or diplomats. Or you could walk on the moon and Mars or do anything else you may want to.
When we see electric bulbs, immediately our thoughts go to the inventor Thomas Alva Edison. He invented the electric bulb and electrical lighting system.
When we hear the sound of aeroplanes flying overhead whom do you think of? The Wright brothers proved that man could fly.
Whom does the telephone remind you of? Alexander Graham Bell.
When people all over the world considered sea travel only as an experience or a voyage, one person during his sea travel from United Kingdom to India started pondering why the horizon where the sky and sea meet looked blue. His research resulted in the discovery of the phenomena of scattering of light. For this, Sir C.V. Raman was awarded the Nobel Prize.
There was an Indian mathematician who did not have formal higher education but had an inexhaustible spirit and love for mathematics. This took him on a path where he ended up contributing to the treasure houses of mathematical research—some of which are still under serious study and engaging mathematicians’ efforts all over the world to establish formal proofs. He was a genius who melted the heart of the most hardened and outstanding Cambridge mathematician Professor G.H. Hardy.
In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that it was Professor Hardy who discovered a great mathematician in number theory Srinivasa Ramanujan and brought his genius to the world.
All these people were thirsty for knowledge and their works and names are now immortal.
I have met 21.5 million youth in a decade’s time. From these meetings and interactions such as this one, I learnt that every youth wants to be unique. You can only be YOU! But the world all around you is doing its best, day and night, to make you just like everybody else. At home, you are asked by your parents to be like the neighbours’ children and score good marks like them. When you go to school, your teachers say, ‘Why can’t you be among the top five in the class?’ Wherever you go, they are saying, ‘You have to be somebody else or like everybody else.’ But young friends, I know that all of you would like to be the unique yourself.
The challenge, my young friends, is that you have to fight the hardest battle, and never stop fighting until you arrive at your destined place. What will be the tools with which you will fight this battle? They are: have a great aim in life, continuously acquire the knowledge, work hard and persevere to realize the great achievement.
During your studies in your schools you will acquire a great friend who will accompany you forever. Who is that friend? That friend is knowledge. I am giving you here the knowledge equation:
Knowledge = Creativity + Righteousness + Courage
Read this book to know the amazing life lessons by APJ Abdul Kalam and learn how to fly…..
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam