Saturday, July 13, 2013

126) Learn lessons - on walking tall

"O God, make bad people good, and good people nice." The prayer of a child

Eknath Easwaran, the Indian philosopher and author writes: "In an Indian movie I saw recently, a villager leaves home for the first time to travel to the city of Bombay. When he returns, his family and friends crowd around him, asking what it was like in a big city. His laconic reply sums up our era:
'Such tall buildings and such small people'."

Tall buildings; small people. Does that reflect us, who live in cities?

Why do ordinary, innocent people find us small? We are big in money, positions, property and possessions, but small in other ways. We are selfish to the core, self-seeking, materialistic and self-indulgent. Others find it difficult to find space in our lives. We are self-obsessed. That is why many shun us. The few who crowd around us are not sincere, but have an agenda. We pretend to be happy, but our hearts are empty. The irony hurts, but we carry on as though that was all that mattered. Watching us go through the motions, our children ape what we do, to their detriment. How sad! Yet it could be different.

If only we let compassion into our lives, we would think of others. If we let forgiveness find a toe-hold in our lives, we would not carry around grudges and needless weight. If self-discipline became a way of life, we would derive better results from our efforts. If consideration for others governed our lives, good behavior would be natural and not an act put-on for the occasion. Just think of what our changed lifestyle would do for our children! Then Emerson's words would reflect the fine persons we and our children could become: "The best effect of fine persons is felt after we have left their presence".