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Selfishly Selfless by Selvalakshmi Arullselvam

By Volunteer Selvalakshmi Arullselvam, FHI Pondicherry

IKIGAI, is a Japanese concept, that roughly translates as the happiness of always being busy, precisely a reason to jump out of bed every morning. It is that overlap of passion, mission, profession and vocation had I traced a Venn diagram. Happy, free and confused, exactly as how it should be in the early twenties in this whirlwind of a life, I was seeking to find my spot, my purpose. It’s always been a nagging enigma in the back of my mind, the one that pops up on sleepless nights, like the word that you know is in your head but you can’t quite seem to articulate. I’ve always known it in my bones that to be out there and to do something that could create a ripple of change for the better, is what that keeps me alive, not because I’m compassionate but because it makes me feel indispensable. Most often than not we do what we do and we love what we love not because for what it is, but for how it makes us feel.


Just when I was trying to figure my way, just at the right time, I stumbled upon Fly Higher India – FHI and now there’s no turning back. My first event and also every other event since then keeps me grounded. Just to look at all the volunteers reminds me that everybody is trying and putting themselves out there and it’s not just me. Watching the kids grasp and reproduce every skill at the speed of my thoughts, makes me realize that I just got lucky with my life and that I owe it to my stars to make use of every bit of privilege at my disposition, to tone down the struggles of the less-luckier bunch.

My first event had a subtle but an inevitable impact to the way of my life in itself and it is getting better by every weekend. And I think what keeps me going every Sunday is the blaring fact that I find a little bit more about myself, my purpose, my spotlight. Alas, I’m being selfishly selfless and I guess that’s okay.

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