In a country that boasts a population of nearly 1.3 billion people, the definition of success indefinitely varies. Among this rather vast number, in 2020, the number of people aged between 18-23 was 148,503.66 thousand persons, the number of billionaires as of May 2021, is 140 and further listing of categories to ship Indians in, would be never-ending. Ironically, while counting numbers here, ‘Don’t Count The Numbers’ is an attempt to throw light on those who constantly rise against the odds, despite the statistics.
As in all TED events, TEDxVITChennai wishes to put forth an idea that is worth spreading. And that is where the theme, ‘Don’t Count The Numbers’ comes into play! With its simple, yet surreal attempt to show that success is measured by an individual’s character, rather than a number, TEDxVITChennai believes that this thematic representation of hope would in return, inspire hope. But, for all its usage, what does the word ‘number’ consist of?
The right answer to this question would be- what doesn’t it contain?
Take, for instance, the sheer number of possibilities presented by a person’s age. In today’s world, where it is constantly drilled that ‘life is a race’, ‘Don’t Count The Numbers’ is a tribute to those who have realized that while, yes, life is a race, there isn’t an upper or lower limit on who can run. Word of mouth is proof of mere children, who have found their passion at an early age, and more importantly, excelled, by whatever standard success is measured. At the same time, there exist the elderly, who have gone past society-set standards of age, and proved their mettle. It never is too late, or early, to make a change.
Pallbearers of change haven’t always been on the majorities’ side. It is popularly said, it takes a single ember to light a forest. And truer words haven’t been spoken! Change is such- an individual is capable of inciting chain events, and hence, a revolution is given rise to, all by the efforts of one persistent, determined individual. The portrayal of change-makers, be it real life, books, movies, or any other medium of popular culture very often, has the inclusion of someone who rose against the odds. One, a number, the first and least of natural numbers, and yet, its impact, far more than infinity.
Humans are social beings- they require constant interaction to get going. ‘Don’t Count The Numbers’ takes a fresh perspective on this interesting characteristic, by looking at a difference made by a small group of people, or as they are appropriately termed a minority. Take, for instance, the various communities present in India, and their undue influence in shaping her culture. If one is a small number, that has a massive impact, then by the same argument, a smaller group in comparison to a larger group (a majority), that has brought something to the table, is a tale to tell!
TEDxVITChennai values human spirit and grit over anything else- even the impossible is possible when there is a will. This is a point proven, over and over again, by those who have refused to let their financial conditions dictate their lives. With little to nothing in the bank, India has seen the likes of countless people rise from rags to riches through sheer grit and determination. Success isn’t quantifiably measured. Indeed, here, money is just a number, and as the theme goes, don’t count the number.
Last, but certainly not least, is the tale of life as we know it. Life isn’t just ups and downs- if a ratio were to be drawn, the number of failures seen would be far more than the number of successes. With this chosen theme, TEDxVITChennai wishes to shine a light on how an individual’s excellence isn’t determined solely by the number of times they have succeeded, but also by the sheer number of failures they faced prior. Because, as the saying goes, a failure is a lesson, and if the plural sense is applied, multiple failures imply multiple lessons. The greater, the better! Oddly, by counting the number of failures, a realization sparks that one genuinely, needn’t count the numbers.
‘Don’t Count The Numbers’, if put simply, is an attempt undertaken to show that the definition of success varies by more than one. If explained in one sentence, it would be - ‘Life is more about the climb than it is the mountains.’
VIT University, Chennai Campus, Village: Keelakottaiyur, Vandalur-Kelambakkam Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 600048
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