The most meaningless justification anybody can give, according to him is referring to a similar incident that happened elsewhere or at some other point of time in defense of a terrible incident. Today there was news about an Indian doing pizza delivery in MA, USA, beaten up by four American citizens mistaking him for an Iraqi. (At least, that’s the version of the news he got). Whatever is the reason, beating up a fellow being is very heinous. Now that this unfortunate event has occurred, how would one react? Various versions he encountered are: first, are any US citizens beaten up in India? Second and worse, why this hue and cry about a stray incident, didn’t we ourselves killed dozens of Sikhs after Indira Gandhi’s Assassination? In the recent Gujarat riots, weren’t scores of people murdered?
Just that all these have taken place in the past, can this incident be simply ignored? Why in the first place should any two such things be compared? Each of the incidents is as gory as itself. And each of them requires a thorough condemnation. One gruesome incident is no justification for the occurrence of another. And one heinous act is no basis to judge the atrocity behind another. Any such act should be condemned unhesitatingly.
Many of us are just too eager to convince others. What we think is correct! And we want all others to acknowledge it. Always!
All the frustration has its origin in the weakness of people not being able to accept the fact that people disagree. Anger comes out of the desperation to somehow rub one’s mind on others’. In the first place, why should anyone be convinced about what you think is correct? More than that, why should you be desperate to prove it correct? If what you say is not correct, then the other person obviously need not agree to it. And if it is, it will remain the same whether the other guy accepts it or not. Just that he is not ready enough at this point of time and will learn it one day in his own way. Isn’t anger just a hard shell over weakness?
Muting is imposed while silence is voluntary. Silence can be active or passive. Passive silence is lethargy or tamas in ancient Indian lingo. Active silence is poise or sattva. The difference is mostly internal. If you are constantly at work, yet composed, you are deep into work yet unattached to it and equanimity is the word that can describe your state, then you are in poise. You are active, indulged in work and attached to result, you are rajasic. You are disinterested in working, you are in tamas. Is it not laziness to be contended without fulfilling one’s responsibilities? According to Dr. Scott Peck M.D., laziness is the Original Sin of the Old Testament. Silence without activity and active silence are many lives apart.
It is funny to watch the TV muted. All the emotions of the characters on the screen are limited to the lip movement. The hero and heroine are busy dancing with their steps in sync with silence. How is it to watch the world muted? No, he is not hinting at being deaf, or “turning a deaf ear”.
After his office is shifted to the new far away building, there is one thing he certainly likes: larger than life glass panes substituting solid walls.
Every time he goes to fetch a cup of tea, he stands at the glass wall staring into the vast expanses on the other side. Again being in the third floor, one is closer to sky than most others, to whatever little extent.
Around 10:30 in the morning, far there, he watches children of the nearby school playing around, surprisingly silently. A little further, the highway is full of traffic, all the heavy trucks, overloaded buses, trendy cars all of them zapping fast, again silently. Birds flying past, airplane cutting across the clear blue sky, trees down under swaying in the breeze, every one seems to be busy, but with out noise. But this silence is not absolute. It is punctuated by the noise of key strokes.
Evening and the office is almost empty, to this side of the glass. On the other side, Kids and elders playing cricket together, lots of traffic on the highway as people are getting back to their homes like those birds flying towards the trees. The sky getting redder from one side as Sun takes to his next shift. Everything looks like a perfect painting, but streaming with life, this time, a complete silence, with the keys resting.
As he watches every time, lot of thoughts cross his mind, each one with its own justification of its origin. Imagination at its peak, mind is busy weaving the thoughts. But when the world is fully mute, there is certainly more it offers for learning than otherwise.
He had decided when he started the good morning mails that there would be absolutely no expectation from them. No expectation of replies, no anticipation of acknowledgements. But so strong is the human mind that it is pretty tough to have it under control. How it expects something in return for everything it does! The self dictates and the mind ignores. The self guides and the mind neglects. If it were not so, would Krishna himself have told Arjuna that beyond any doubt the mind is a tough thing to be reined. But he gave a solution too. He added, “Only by practice can this be achieved”. So, if he has to continue with his good morning mails without hurting himself, he has to practice to consciously ignore every thorn that the mind pricks the heart with, every expectation the mind builds, every “return of favor” that mind desires day after day. After all, don’t we have all the desires and contentment, all the sorrow and joy, all the pain and comfort in our own selves? It is for us to choose what we are going to experience.