Abdullah Abu Sayeed is well-known as a writer, editor, social activist and a popular teacher. He earned fame also as a television presenter. In the last few decades he has emerged as a successful organiser through his involvement with movements aimed at grooming enlightened youths. Essentially a mentor of ideal and properly learned humans, Abdullah Abu Sayeed has dedicated his life to making the treasures of Bengali and continental literature closer to the teenage and young readers. A pioneer of popularising 'reading' among children and youths, Professor Sayeed is widely known for his great role in spreading the 'book movement' throughout the country. He has introduced the reading competition, which is now considered one of the most widely followed cultural programmes in the sub-continent. Abdullah Abu Sayeed is the founder of the multi-activity Bishwa Sahitya Kendro (World Literature Centre) in Dhaka. It was him who initiated the activities of the centre humbly in a one-storey building four decades ago. He also founded the famous Bangla little magazine 'Kanthaswar' in the mid-1960s as editor. Abdullah Abu Sayeed is an excellent orator.
Among other things, the former teacher's optimistic and positive attitude towards life has always been a great source of inspiration for the newer generations. One of his teachings comprises knowing how to overcome the barriers in life. In his book 'Bhango Durdoshar Chakra', Abdullah Abu Sayeed attempts to provide his readers with effective ways to break the cycle of everything negative and how to use their full potential.
The book is mainly a collection of ten talks on various life-oriented topics as well as social issues (i.e. fear, failing, ageing, negativity, positive attitude, inner power, enlightened life, voluntary blood donation, working for people and community etc.). The lectures were delivered by the author during the last one and half decades on various occasions organised by Quantum Foundation. It also contains two exclusive interviews of this illustrious personality where he talks about diverse chapters of his life including his university days, the literary movement in the 1960s, experiences in Bishwa Shahitya Kendro and other organisations.
We have lofty dreams about our life, yet quite often they cannot be translated into reality. Many people know how to embark on a great ventutre and the fruitful ways to complete it. Most of the time they lack courage, the ability to persevere; and withstand fear, hazards of ordeals and sufferings. Many of us are taught in our childhood how to avoid unpleasant feelings. The author shows us how to identify and conquer the obstacles that hinder us from reaching our full potential and fulfilling our dreams. The mind is always obsessed with the fear of failures. But failures can be viewed as lessons which will eventually back us in our journeys; because man always learns from mistakes. Professor Sayeed offers an example: "When a car goes up a hill, we can say symbolically that it is progressing. But when it descends, do we say it's going backwards? No, because the wheels are still going forward. The car must come down, so that it can go up another hill."
One of the most important steps that we can take towards achieving our great potential in life is to learn to understand our attitude and its impact on our work performance, relationships and everyone around us. Professor Sayeed talks about both the 'negative' and 'positive' attitudes. He refers to 'negativity' or 'negative attitude' as a 'fallacy', which can have a strong and sometimes devastating impact on all aspects of our life. Negativity drains us of energy and keeps us from being existent in the present moment. On the other hand, a positive attitude helps us cope more easily with the adversities of life. With a positive stance, the author believes, we can see the brighter sides of life, become optimistic, work for the betterment of society, and expect the best to happen.
Through the World Literature Centre, Professor Sayeed has contributed immensely to creating an enlightened generation. As a social activist, he is very much aware that in these times of moral degradation and social unrest, many of our young people are passing through a critical situation. Due to lack of confidence and pessimistic view of life, they have forgotten to realise their full potential. The book 'Bhango Durdoshar Chakra' targets youths in particular, with an appeal for arousing in them the propensity to awaken their inner power. It is this very power with which they are expected to prepare themselves to break the self-created barriers in life.
The writer is an independent researcher.
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