One of the characters in a play by George Bernard Shaw (Androcles and the Lion) is the obstinate Christian named Lavinia, who refuses to burn incense to the Roman gods; she says she would rather be thrown to the lions. ‘I think I am going to die for God,’ she says. ‘Nothing else is real enough to die for.’ And the captain of the gladiators querulously asked her, ‘What is God?’ To which Lavinia replies: ‘When we know that, Captain, we shall be gods ourselves.’
Einstein’s famous response ….. ‘I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.’
W.Stanley Jones …. ‘When you find a faith,’ he says, ‘all your sums add up.’
Zoroastrian morality is expressed in just three words, Humat, Hukht, and Huvarsht – good thoughts, good words, and good deeds
G.K. Chesterton …. ‘Angels can fly…… because they take themselves lightly’
Shakespeare …. ‘This above all to your own self be true.’
JRD Tata …. ‘To lead people you have got to lead them with affection.’
The possessions Sir Dorab Tata left for the creation of the trust included his shares, landed estates and jewellery, valued in all at one crore rupees in 1932, equivalent to about a hundred crore rupees today. They included the 245-carat Jubilee Diamond, twice as large as the Kohinoor.
Andrew Carnegie …. started two thousand public libraries across the USA and Scotland.
Jamsetji N. Tata …offered in his lifetime almost half his wealth to the creation of a postgraduate Institute of Science
A Japanese proverb says, ‘Time spent in laughing is time spent with the gods.’
JRD, when he was sixty-one, was asked by a teacher in Calcutta what his guidelines were, and he highlighted the following five priciples:
• Nothing worthwhile is ever achieved without deep thought and hard work.
• One must think for oneself and never accept at their face value slogans and catch phrases to which, unfortunately, our people are too easily susceptible.
• Forever strive for excellence, or even perfection, in any task, however small, and never be satisfied with the second best.
• No success or achievement in material terms is worthwhile unless it serves the needs or interests of the country and its people and is achieved by fair and honest means.
• Good human relations not only bring great personal rewards but are essential to the success of any enterprise
‘Somewhere in the heart of a man, there’s a door, and what’s more
He can fling it wide and throw the key away.
Suddenly it’s like a sunrise on a summer day!’
Augustine …. ‘Lord make me pure – but not yet!’
The Chinese proverb …. ‘The strongest of memories is weaker than the palest of ink.’
William Blake ….
‘To see a world in a grain of sand,
And heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.’
To the end of his life JRD would often tell me, ‘We don’t smile enough. Sometimes when people recognize me when I am travelling by car, I smile at them. It makes them happy and it costs me nothing.’
When he was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1992 there was an open-air felicitation by Tata employees at the NCPA grounds. On that occasion JRD said, ‘And American economist says that in the next century India will be an economic super power. I don’t want India to be an economic super power. I want India to be a happy country.’
‘Don’t hate ‘evil men’, hate the evil in men.’
- The Dalai Lama
‘Why do we wait, and coldly stint our praises,
And leave our reverent homage unexpressed
Till brave hearts lie beneath a roof of daisies
Then heap with flowers each hallowed place of rest? …
Ah! Why not give to living hearts some token
Of half the love and pride that throb through ours?’
- J. R. Miller
‘The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand,
nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship;
it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when
you discover that someone else believes in you
and is willing to trust you with a friendship.’
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
As Chairman of Air-India International and pioneer of flying, JRD’s views on aviation were respected by Nehru. However, Nehru totally kept him out of anything having to do with the economic policy of India…… JRD …..told me with sadness, ‘You know, Russi, in no other country would the government not have consulted a person like me on economic policy.’
‘This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.’
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening fades away,
The sky is filled with stars,
Invisible by day’
- Henry Longfellow
‘We give him back to Thee, dear God, who gavest him to us.
Yet as Thou did not lose him by giving,
So we have not lost him by his return.’
‘Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
We are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way you always used.
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever
The household word that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effort,
Without the ghost of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
Somewhere very near,
Just round the corner.
All is well.’
- Canon Henry Scott-Holland