Challenge unfolds one’s potentials

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | December 15, 2013

In 1931, an Indian boy was born in a poor family in Madras. He came from a poor background and his family couldn't afford his school fees. After completing school, he distributed newspapers in order to financially contribute to his father's income. The poor condition of this boy proved to be a challenge for him. He had no option other than to accept this challenge, so he started working very hard.

After long efforts he completed his education in science. In 2002, he was conferred with the greatest national honour by becoming the President of India. It is this boy who is now well-known as Dr Abdul Kalam.

There are thousands of such people throughout the world who were born poor but in the later period of their life emerged as super-achievers. In a wider sense, every person has the same history. If not the person himself, his father or grandfather or great-grandfather was born poor, but after hard work, he was able to change his status from poverty to being wealthy. This phenomenon is not accidental. This is according to the law of nature.

The law of nature is based on challenge. It is challenge that proves to be a booster for every human being, both man and woman. Without challenge man becomes stagnant, and with challenge he becomes dynamic. It is challenge that motivates people to go ahead to achieve on their own what they did not receive as inheritance. Arnold Toynbee has termed this process as the challenge-response mechanism.

Challenge transforms one from a non-creative person to a creative person. Challenges unfold one's potential. This is the process of nature. We cannot create any other process for progress and development. Providing favour is going against the law of nature. Offering favour is not a solution to the problem of poverty. Giving favour makes one an intellectually stagnant person, while facing challenges makes one an intellectually awakened person.