A Moment to be Inspired and Humbled

I rarely think about US politics, and my views tend to be libertarian, so even if I had a vote in the US (I am Indian), I would have voted for Ron Paul. Still, it is very hard not to get inspired by the personal life story of Barack Obama, and the seemingly insurmountable odds he has overcome. The dignity and Zen calmness he conveys is a role model for anyone who aspires to any kind of leadership. Today it is a moment to be inspired and humbled!

8 Replies to “A Moment to be Inspired and Humbled”

  1. I am late on this! But it is so true. Really humbling and really inspires hope.To quote him again – “A skinny guy with a funny name who believes he has a place in America.” I do not remember any political leader across the world in my living memory displaying this amount of humility.In sharp contrast and more hurtfully, in India which has been ruled by mostly a political dynasty or its servants and sycophants regional supporters, we are yet to have any leader with an iota of honesty or humility like that.

  2. I am late on this! But it is so true. Really humbling and really inspires hope.To quote him again – “A skinny guy with a funny name who believes he has a place in America.” I do not remember any political leader across the world in my living memory displaying this amount of humility.In sharp contrast and more hurtfully, in India which has been ruled by mostly a political dynasty or its servants and sycophants regional supporters, we are yet to have any leader with an iota of honesty or humility like that.

  3. Sridhar, one can certainly find inspiration in the story of Barack Obama, but it’s quite a stretch to argue that he has overcome “seemingly insurmountable odds”. The establishment, now more powerful than ever, has evolved over the centuries. One of the ways in which it has evolved is to stop discriminating based on origin, even while it holds on to that power, so it isn’t particularly difficult for someone to “break in” – as long as he or she has the right stuff (or is it the wrong stuff?). It helps to be born in the US, of course.

  4. Sridhar, one can certainly find inspiration in the story of Barack Obama, but it’s quite a stretch to argue that he has overcome “seemingly insurmountable odds”. The establishment, now more powerful than ever, has evolved over the centuries. One of the ways in which it has evolved is to stop discriminating based on origin, even while it holds on to that power, so it isn’t particularly difficult for someone to “break in” – as long as he or she has the right stuff (or is it the wrong stuff?). It helps to be born in the US, of course.

  5. Sridhar: I’ve enjoyed following the growth of your company and innovations – especially your willingness to hold a candle to the hype coming from a certain San Francisco-based company. Reading your comments about Ron Paul has made me an even bigger fan. The U.S. has a dearth of voices like yours – especially now. Keep fighting the good fight!

  6. Sridhar: I’ve enjoyed following the growth of your company and innovations – especially your willingness to hold a candle to the hype coming from a certain San Francisco-based company. Reading your comments about Ron Paul has made me an even bigger fan. The U.S. has a dearth of voices like yours – especially now. Keep fighting the good fight!

  7. Sridhar – I am naive of current Indian politics — but it sometimes starts with only one person showing and leading the way :). Either way, I enjoy reading your blogs and you are closer to the situation than me as an outsider would be. You have shown yourself to be a savvy business man who has done something many others have not…monetized their app in the cloud. Please keep up the good work and providing the quality customer service your company has become known for.And no – this is not an attempt to “suck up”, I don’t work that way.Harold Shaw

  8. Sridhar – I am naive of current Indian politics — but it sometimes starts with only one person showing and leading the way :). Either way, I enjoy reading your blogs and you are closer to the situation than me as an outsider would be. You have shown yourself to be a savvy business man who has done something many others have not…monetized their app in the cloud. Please keep up the good work and providing the quality customer service your company has become known for.And no – this is not an attempt to “suck up”, I don’t work that way.Harold Shaw

  9. zohofan, it is fair to say I probably won’t agree with many of Obama’s policies – though I do believe he is going to sharply move to the center, and not do a lot of the things he said he would do during the campaign. Having said that, his personal life story is an inspiring one. We can respect and admire a person, without agreeing with their political views. I am guessing you are a lot younger than me, I would have been this way when I was 15 years younger, but as I get to 40, I am able to separate the respect-for-a-person aspect from things-I-don’t-agree-with aspect.Harold, thanks for the kind words. I would like to believe you, but alas, I am far too aware of my limits. Even in the US, business leaders have mostly been miserable failures in politics. Indian politics is a far, far dirtier game than in the US, simply because the government has so much more power, so there is severe competition for (ab)using that power. I don’t know how governments voluntarily reduce their power.

  10. zohofan, it is fair to say I probably won’t agree with many of Obama’s policies – though I do believe he is going to sharply move to the center, and not do a lot of the things he said he would do during the campaign. Having said that, his personal life story is an inspiring one. We can respect and admire a person, without agreeing with their political views. I am guessing you are a lot younger than me, I would have been this way when I was 15 years younger, but as I get to 40, I am able to separate the respect-for-a-person aspect from things-I-don’t-agree-with aspect.Harold, thanks for the kind words. I would like to believe you, but alas, I am far too aware of my limits. Even in the US, business leaders have mostly been miserable failures in politics. Indian politics is a far, far dirtier game than in the US, simply because the government has so much more power, so there is severe competition for (ab)using that power. I don’t know how governments voluntarily reduce their power.

  11. I want to say this simply.I agree with your thoughts on Obama being an inspiration, irregardless of race, creed, religion or any of those other qualifiers.I have been following your thoughts on this blog for a couple of years now and I hope that someday you get into politics and take a leadership position in India. You have shown a knack for success in the business world and you have shown yourself to be a leader who isn’t afraid to say what needs to be said. It would be a shame to loose an innovator to politics, but sometimes you have to look at the big picture…perhaps your time is drawing near?Thank you

  12. I want to say this simply.I agree with your thoughts on Obama being an inspiration, irregardless of race, creed, religion or any of those other qualifiers.I have been following your thoughts on this blog for a couple of years now and I hope that someday you get into politics and take a leadership position in India. You have shown a knack for success in the business world and you have shown yourself to be a leader who isn’t afraid to say what needs to be said. It would be a shame to loose an innovator to politics, but sometimes you have to look at the big picture…perhaps your time is drawing near?Thank you

  13. The proposed policies of the Obama administration are as far away from libertarian as you can get: hostile to free trade, more limits on H1B workers, more special interest subsidies, heavier taxation on investment in private industry, and more money to the government funded underclass…I’m more inspired by pioneering knowledge workers like those of Google or Zoho or natural science researchers than I am of successful politicians. Political success is more about satisfying the right special interests, giving smooth speeches, and having the right public image. Politics is a necessary part of society, but I’m disappointed to see the great minds that I respect behind Zoho point to this as a model of inspiration.

  14. The proposed policies of the Obama administration are as far away from libertarian as you can get: hostile to free trade, more limits on H1B workers, more special interest subsidies, heavier taxation on investment in private industry, and more money to the government funded underclass…I’m more inspired by pioneering knowledge workers like those of Google or Zoho or natural science researchers than I am of successful politicians. Political success is more about satisfying the right special interests, giving smooth speeches, and having the right public image. Politics is a necessary part of society, but I’m disappointed to see the great minds that I respect behind Zoho point to this as a model of inspiration.

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