Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Speaking Tree Weekly Blog | Aug 24, 2020
In an All India Radio interview, broadcast on November 12, 2014, a well-known actor had this question put to him by the interviewer: “You are totally different on the sets from what you are in real life. How do you succeed in performing a role which is totally different from your actual personality?” The actor replied: “When we perform, we totally detach ourselves. We cast ourselves in the mould of the character we have to play.”
Our age is one of professionalism. And when an individual enters his chosen profession, he must perform his role therein under some ‘director’. While doing so, he detaches himself from his own self for the time being. And sometimes he is obliged to do so on more than one occasion. But, here, there is a problem. This state of affairs does not remain for a lifetime. A time comes when a person must retire from his profession and after retirement, he is faced with a new situation. Where, in the pre-retirement period he assumed the role of one positive personality after another, now, in the post-retirement period, he must return to be his own self, a self which had remained in an underdeveloped state. Now he must live with a personality which has never been fully rounded out and leaves much to be desired.
The post-retirement period is the most precious period of any person’s life, because, that is the age of maturity. Yet, the difference between the two successive periods of his life results in a feeling of desolation. In the pre-retirement period, he was acclaimed as a super-performer. Now, in the post-retirement period, he is reduced to being almost a non-performer – a non-entity. This explains why, in the second phase of their lives, almost all the so-called successful individuals live in despair and die in despair.
What is the solution to this problem? Two options present themselves. The first is to enter a profession that will last for a lifetime, and in which the careerist can have job satisfaction. The second option is to start a new life immediately after retirement – a life of his own choosing. He should then spend his time on study and healthy activities, during which he should do his utmost to realize his full potential.