Are we doing our duty or are we watching the other person? It is fashionable to smell what’s cooking in the neighbor’s pot than our very own. I think it’s the recipe for failure. Each of us have a duty and we must perform that duty to the best of our ability and leave others to their way.
I have completed a biography of Pandit Baya of New York and I am amazed at his accomplishments. During my interviews and interactions with him I have never heard him complaining. He is always pro-active and optimistic. This explains his success. Pandit Baya has simply carried out his duty as a pandit and social worker without distraction.
One movie that taught me a lesson on authority is Gharana, a 1961 Hindi movie starring Rajendra Kumar, Raaj Kumar, Lilita Pawar etc. It is a family story of abuse of power by a mother-in-law and the failure of her husband to reign her in. It was only after the husband finally put down his feet, the problems got sorted out.
The war in the Mahabharata could have been avoided had the king laid down a ruling that his sons were not the natural heirs to the throne. The king did not have the courage to make such ruling. Bhisma, an elder, looked on helplessly, but it was not his call. The silence of the king was permission to his sons to continue with their evil ways.
A story is told of a Brahmin who strayed from the path of dharma. The villager left him to himself. However, when he died, his corpse was not attended to by the villagers. The Brahmin is a teacher who guides the people, not the reverse. The people were not authorized to correct him. He was supposed to guide them.
When we fail, we can always escape into fiction. Sylvester Stallone became a legend after playing the roles of John Rambo and Rocky Balboa in the Rambo and Rocky series. Both John Rambo and Rocky Balboa were fictional characters created as balm for the American souls after their defeat in Vietnam and the dominance of boxing by blacks. It was an escape into a fantasy of success instead of revisiting the drawing board.
Each of us has the solution for the other man’s problem but not ours. We wish that the family with some wealth can be generous but we can continue to hoard our money. We asked ‘why those Hindus in Chaguanas and Penal are leaving the Hindu fold?” but we can continue being a Presbyterian in Williamsville.
Swami Vivekananda said that “greatness lies in the worm that goes about its duty.” I suggest that we stop the protest and do our duty at hand. Let us leave the politicians to fight their political battles. If you are a house wife you would be better off cleaning your house and cooking meals for your family. Why do Nani and Nana have to do what politicians have to do? Is there any politician who is working for free? I don’t know of anyone. More so, should they not be nominated for re-election they would curse the UNC from morning to night and in their sleep as Harry Partap is doing. I am proud of my Brahmin friend Chandresh Sharma not indulging in such mean behavior-boring a hole in the plate after you have eaten.
What is happening in Haiti? The recent assassination of President Jovenal Moise is a big blow for Haiti. When are the protests going to stop in Haiti and the people are going back to work? Since the Haitian revolution in the 1790, this Caribbean nation has not settled down to work. Protests and gang violence are the order of the day. Everyone has a solution! Everyone wants to be boss!
Do we have a culture of not doing and only blaming and complaining? This is a question every individual must answer him/herself.