By Biraj Dixit :
Just like that
CONCEDE: This weak-looking word needs a lot of strength to pull off. And who could’ve told that it would be an election in the great country of the United States of America that will bring us face to face with the power of the word? Though it may look so at present but conceding isn’t Mr Donald Trump’s problem alone. The word has trumped each one of us in one way or the other on so many occasions, hasn’t it? The dictionary says concede accurately means ‘to admit that something is true although you do not want it to.’ In other words, it is about looking at the same scene again keeping away our glasses of ego, prejudices, longings, fears to see the world with crystal clear eyes. Now, isn’t that a hell of a job? Imagine, the accumulation of ages in making of a mindset and a moment to shrug it all off!!! Why blame Mr Trump, we all ourselves have so often failed to concede on much tinier grounds.
We, all have failed to read the writing on the wall. The other day, I had a debate with my cook on the amount of garlic a recipe needed. She did not concede and I did not concede and the end recipe seemed looking at us rather gingerly. I admit I do not easily concede nor have I seen other people easily concede. We live in a world where people fight over not just territories, but seats in buses. People brawl not just for their right, but also for whatever is left. No one’s conceding even a little ground here. So, for the world to expect Mr Trump concede the high and mighty position of POTUS?!? Unfair, unfair! My sympathies are always with those who fail to concede.
They are so much like me! But why is conceding such a challenge? For many, concede is equivalent of defeat. It is giving up. It is letting go. And as is the nature of things or as has been the nature of things that we have cultivated like our own self, we never like to give up, never let go. So, we keep fighting the inevitable. There are, however, many other smart fellows, who ever since the dawn of civilisation, have used this art of conceding to help them keep their flock together, keep enemies at bay, create cultures and civilisations and commerce and march on from being tribals to global. In this land of ancient wisdom, conceding had an altogether different value. It enabled one to always keep one’s eye on the larger goals of life. So even for the ‘maharajas’ and ‘samrats’, the prescribed course of action after their many victories and many triumphs was ‘vanaprastha’ - conceding to the larger realities of life, allowing oneself to let go. Admitting to the one greatest truth was considered quintessential to life’s completeness and hence the leaving, the retirement, the letting go of things dear. So, the great Chandragupta Maurya, the first mighty Emperor of India, renounces his kingdom, his throne and becomes a Jain monk. Emperor Ashok, conceded to the horrors of war and renounced it after a huge military success.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj let goes of his many forts to save the day for many other victories. Conceding, sometimes, is the art of the wise and craft of the brilliant. It is all about noticing that thin line between ‘giving in’ and ‘giving up’. It is about identifying the power of the weak-looking word called ‘concede’. But for concede to work, one has to let go of the many glasses and therein lies the problem. Without the glasses of ‘Me’, ‘Mine’, ‘Myself’, the world looks so dull, hardly inspiring! So fixated are we that we have hardly developed the faculty to view the world without glasses. ‘Concede’ demands that those glasses must go for a crystal-clear vision. The greats of all ages could become great only after they overcame their myopia to see the truth. But we, the very wise POTUSes’ of our own ilk, refuse to see, refuse to move on. Concede, we cannot, when all of us know very well the single, biggest truth - that in the end- life will concede to death.