More often than not, the way we perceive the world reveals more about us than what we perceive. Our perceptions get clouded by our own prejudices. Past experiences limit our ability to see things as they are. Preconceived Notions and the tendency to generalize and exaggerate negativity obstruct clarity in perception. In this fast paced world of social media, wanting to jump to conclusions, label others and move on to the next thing to comment and criticize has become one of the favorite pastimes. I have also observed that some people get an ego boost by criticizing and putting others down. These are desperate attempts to cover up that hidden sinking feeling that one may be experiencing in life as a result of a deep rooted inferiority complex.
The problem that I am trying to analyse is more like a disease and has the potential to destroy the very fabric of the society, which is trust in the goodness of mankind. This tendency needs to be effectively dealt with. As an important part of upbringing, parents should be very careful to see to it that such a tendency does not find its home in the hearts of little ones. We all are well acquainted with that unpleasant feeling when you get to know that someone whom you may not even know personally, is suffering from a life threatening ailment. I have experienced similar feeling for a guy who asked Sri Sri Ravi Shankar that was HE doing the river rejuvenation work Because HE wanted the Noble Peace Prize? (NPP). I realized that I had just been introduced to another dimension of cynicism. It’s a disease. I was even more appalled as I figured out that this disease is contagious when I read tweets by so called right wing intellectuals who “accuse” Sri Sri of doing all the humanitarian work because he is “craving” for the NPP. Before I move on, I would reiterate the point I have already stated.
“More often than not, the way we perceive the world reveals more about us than what we perceive”. In Hindi they say, “Jaisi Drishti Vaisi srishti”. ( ones own mindset will determine how beautiful or ugly the universe appears to be) If the Primary motivating factor in my life for doing every little act is acknowledgement, appreciation, reward in form of name, fame, Status, Money etc then in all probability that is how I will perceive the world. If we are obsessed with appreciation, begging for love and respect from others all our life, then its going to be obviously impossible to imagine that a possibility exists where one can live, One can serve, one can contribute out of ones own nature, without expecting anything in return.
Sri Sri successfully negotiates and convinces armed rebel group FARC to drop violence and thus end a 53 year old conflict that had claimed lakhs of lives and instead of getting inspired, feel proud etc all that one comes up with…..hmmm… looks like he wants the Noble Peace Prize. His organization works to revive 32 dead rivers, convincing Naxalites to drop guns and join mainstream society, runs 435 free schools, works in war torn countries like Iraq and Syria, skill development workshops for Kashmiri youth etc and does all this for what in return? For nothing, absolutely nothing. My dear, It is for the sheer joy of serving. In one of the interviews he said, “I cant but serve”. Only the one who functions from a space of unconditional love, compassion and intense dedication to make a difference can bring about so much transformation in such diverse groups of people.
A person who can see selfish intents even in the most noble acts would not do more than debating, outraging, finding faults and yet feel that he/she is doing a great service to humanity. Scarce they may be, but remember those instances when you genuinely contributed in someone else life, remember how did it feel? It is only those moments we truly live, but for some rare beings an entire lifetime is made up of those moments. It takes a big heart to even recognize and appreciate the magnanimity of such a being. For the narrow minded petty souls here is a piece of advice – Shut up.