The inside job!
Sutapa das: The ungrateful, inappropriate and irrational ways in which people act can infuriate us to no end. We deal with our anger by letting it loose (passionate and vengeful outbursts) or locking it up (emotionally disconnecting). Both expressions, however, are indicative of our own shortcomings. Allowing someone else’s negativity to displace our own consciousness, means there is still work to do. We seek emotional deposits from others because we haven’t become full in ourselves. But isn’t that natural? Aren’t relationships based on mutual emotional dependency? Surely it’s reasonable and legitimate to expect some human decency in our social intercourse. Well, in one sense yes, but if you understand the nature of this world, the power of material psychology and the inherent weakness of each individual, then you won’t be surprised when people aren’t so forthcoming. Only when we are internally nourished and solidly connected to the original spiritual source, can we wholeheartedly give ourselves and remain unaffected by the reciprocation (or lack of) that we receive.
Impractical, unattainable and utopian? Well, that is the saintly challenge before us. Spiritualists are extraordinary, not simply because of their knowledge, faith or dedication, but because of their unique and outstanding character. Their conduct is entirely different from the ‘common’ person. They incessantly give the best of themselves, again and again, because something deeper is impelling them to continue. It reminds me of Mother Teresa’s famous poem:
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are honest and sincere, people may cheat you;
Be honest and sincere anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
History has documented a long list of saints, but what about now? The world could do with a few more spotless personalities, and we all have our part to play. If not me, then who? If not now, then when? Nobody feels qualified, it won’t be easy, and there will never be an ideal time. Along with dynamic projects to change the world, I’m increasingly thinking about the ‘Inside Job.’ Our life contribution is not simply based on what we do, but also who we are. To be more humble than a blade of grass, more tolerant than a tree, perpetually offering respect to others, and expecting nothing in return. As I fall short of these exalted ideals, I pick myself up, dust myself down, and continue to confront my inflated pride and ugly ego. The ‘Inside Job’ is testing but exciting. It’s a work in progress, and I’ll have to start putting some overtime in.