Ramesh a young man in his early 20s, like many others his age wanted to be popular and loved by all. He dreamt of becoming the best chess player in the world, not the second best nor the third, the very best. His love for chess began at childhood. He spent long hours playing chess with his grandfather who was a retired school principal. Some day he hoped to be able to play like his grand pop.
Being from a small village, Ramesh was happy and content with what he had and knew little about the outside world. His parents had died when he was a little boy, and it was his grandparents who cared for him. While his childhood was happy and like most others his age, he had a burning urge to excel in chess.
Soon after high school, Ramesh enrolled in a chess academy. The simpleton that he was, he thought that his dream could be achieved quickly if he enrolled in the academy. He learnt many basic opening attacks, offense and defense tactics but soon over-confidence got the better of him. He began to slack and would not revise his lessons.
One day the mentor decided to check the skills of the students by holding a friendly chess competition. Fear and panic began to creep into Ramesh’s mind. He began to doubt his abilities and skills. Though he dreamt big, he was a pessimist at heart and seldom put in the hard work needed to gain success. Ramesh excused himself complaining of a stomach ache, but was made to take up the challenge the next day at the academy. Beads of sweat began to roll down his forehead as he sat on the table facing his opponent. His nervousness was apparent from his face that had turned bright red! Even the pat on his back by his tutor did little to rekindle his confidence.
The game started with a toss! Ramesh lost and was handed the black faction while the opponent got the white. A rather small set back – loosing to the opponent was a huge blow to his self-confidence and he began blaming the gods, himself and his poor luck.
Instead of putting what he learnt into action Ramesh fretted over losing the toss. He could not concentrate on the game and began to lose his pawns to his opponent. On the 6th move, he lost his queen and with that, he lost all hopes of winning and surrendered like a coward. His cheeks had streams of tears rolling down, and he threw the chess board in frustration. Disgusted and embarrassed upon his losing, he ran up to the roof and leaped off the ledge straight to his death!
Had Ramesh been an optimist, losing the toss would have made his resolve to win the game stronger. A mere toss would not have defeated his spirits and he would have been able to put the strategies he learnt to win the game. Sadly, the young man who set out with big dreams succumbed to his laziness and pessimistic attitude.
Moral: There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist