SELF- RELIANT AND SELF-RESPECT
Self- reliant and self- respect have deep relationship and the relationship is not explicit. People who respect the self and disallow others to take advantage of them are the people who become independent in all aspects of life. Total independence means independent physically, mentally and financially. In my view, financial independence is the final decision, prior to that one must be physically and mentally independent to become a perfect self-reliant person.
Many people ignore physical and mental dependence. In fact, many are not aware of this dependence. People demand help from others thinking that it is their right to demand help from others. They forget the fact that by demanding physical help from others they are becoming dependent on others without their own knowledge. This is physical dependence. Likewise, many people are dependent on others ideas. They hesitate to take decisions of their own. In the name of consultation, they depend on others to take their decision. They depend on others advice and they fail to use their thinking capacity and they feel more comfortable with others ideas. This is mental dependence. Least importance is given for independence of thoughts. When we depend on others, the dependent person becomes weak and the helping person becomes powerful. When we become dependent, we lose our power to be self-reliant and gradually it reduces the self-respect. Being independent means it is not to ignore or disrespect others views and ideas. It means to give priority to our views and at the same time considering others views with equal respect. One must know to balance between the two.
In many homes, women are more dependent on others, especially mothers. They are dependent on other family members. They always take a back seat and they even hesitate to give their own views. They hesitate to take care of themselves. They feel that it is selfishness to care of themselves. This is a wrong notion. Only a self respecting mother can teach a child to become self- reliant. Some women allow themselves to be treated like a doormat and they blame others for their condition. It is true that some family situations cannot be avoided; however a large part lies on the ignorance of the concerned person and failing to establish the right as a human being. It is not a sacrifice to ignore ourselves. Instead, it is a sin. When we ignore ourselves, we are ignoring the divine power in us. Sacrifice is something that when we give it to others they will gain by it. When we give our self-respect, we lose it and others will not gain by it.
There must be clear priorities in life. We must know our priorities then only life becomes useful. Helping others and getting help from others are common in life and it improves our relationship with others. However, it should not leave us in the dark. If we lose our self-respect we cannot become self-reliant, this leads to frustration and depression, and at one stage we will show displeasure to the same people whom we have helped or from whom we have received help. One must realize the purpose and importance of life. Every individual is born with a definite purpose and a person who realizes this will succeed easily.
Art of communication is very important to maintain a relationship. Any relationship is an exchange of energy and communication plays an important role to make the bondage stronger. Words are an expression of thoughts and feelings. There are times when we fail to express the feelings through words. Sometimes we purposely speak contradictory to our thoughts. Sometimes we exactly express our thoughts. Whatever way we choose to express, our relationship with any person is established through communication. Hence utmost importance is given for communication.
One can improve the communication skills at any point of time in life. Our words reflect our experience in life. If we have experienced a decent and sophisticated life, then our communication reflects it. Suppose, we have experienced a painful life, then our communication reflects that too. Moreover, our communication reflects our culture and values in life. When the thoughts are less, the words are also less. When the words are less it enhances the inner energy.
When we go through the greatest epic Mahabharata, we will be able to notice mainly four types of communication which are very common in life.
Dheenadha – this is the manner in which the King Dhiridhrashtra communicates. This type of communication highlights only the negatives in life. They fail to see the positive side of life. Those people always thing about the emptiness in life. Too much of attachment towards life prevents them from seeing the achievements in life. The result is they are left only with complaints and dissatisfaction. They are too interested in finding fault with others, by that they hide their own mistakes. Their possessiveness prevents them from adjusting with others. Their communication is filled with worries, complaints and criticism. Naturally others may reject their company. Their mind is weak due to over expectation and fear and it is well reflected in their words.
Durabhimanada – this is the manner in which King Duryodhana communicates. This type of communication reflects their dominating mind. Through thoughts and words they want to control others. They are commanding and authoritative. They strongly believe that their ego as the Supreme and due to this they find it uncomfortable to even communicate in a pleasing manner. They take others for granted. Normally people try to avoid their company because their words always hurt others. They fail to listen to others words and the communication is always one way. Such type of communication worsens any type of relationship because there is no space for others to live together. Their ego is too big to accommodate any other person. They always view others as smaller than their own personality.
Nisheyadha – this is the manner in which Dronacharya communicates. People who communicate in this manner always look for safe corner. They always hesitate to communicate. They are too protective and they never interfere in anyone’s business fearing that blame or responsibility may fall on them. They never express their views in public. They have very low Self esteem about themselves and due to this they even hesitate to think, assuming in mind that their ideas are not worth and it may be rejected or ridiculed. Any relationship becomes stronger by sharing and giving. If someone fails even to share the ideas, then there is no point in communicating with them. One must live up to the situation and share the ideas as and when needed by kind useful words.
prajodanadha – this is one of the most perfect way to communicate and it is in this manner Bishmacharya communicates. The communication must be always inspirational and it must always be helpful for others to take positive decisions. Such people never talk about the weakness of others, at the same time they have the capacity to correct others mistakes by using proper words. Basically, such inspirational words come from the respectful thoughts they have for others. As said before, words are only expression of thoughts. Everyone likes to be present in their company.
Communication is the result of our own likes and dislikes. If the communication is too sharp then it is hated by everyone; if it is too blunt then everyone ignores it. In my view, communication skills have to be checked and improved to maintain relationships. The wound created by words takes time to heal than any physical wound. Our own world is created by words, and for that reason they have to be given utmost care else we will be surrounded by loneliness. Communication has the power to make or destroy our own world.
SUCCESS VERSUS VALUES
Success is very important because only then positive values come to light; but is it good to ignore values to attain success. Will the success have any value without positive values? In the modern world, success is given prior importance and values take a back stage. In the modern life, to succeed in all situations is more important than to follow one’s own values. “….keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny”, Mahatma Gandhi. Almost in all fields, in today’s time, positive values are not given importance. In the educational field, which is ought to be the basic field of development for the country, education is like high profile business. Degrees are attained by students through improper channels. What is the value of such degree? Can a mere degree without in-depth knowledge in the subject bring development or real success to that person? In the agricultural sector, people target the demands and not the quality. This leads to multiple side effects and various health disorders. The quality of the product is taken for granted. Even in the medical profession, somehow the patients are treated and money is grabbed from them. An individual is respected for the money and not for the real being. So, in almost all the fields, positive values take a back stage. Somehow, everyone wants to succeed in their chosen field. In my view, everyone is born here with an ambition to succeed, but a success without any value is just another form of failure. A nation as a whole cannot succeed without a hard earned success. Such undignified successes pull down the nation as a whole.
A life without any values is the root cause for all kinds of corruption and malpractices. Each individual has to lead their life according to their own positive values to make a nation successful. To compete in this world normally one ignores others feelings and emotions. It is better to remain as a person with failures than to achieve success without any values, because only a valuable success lasts long. Success becomes useless and senseless when achieved by other means like bribing others or by influence and so on. A successful person without any values will not have the needed knowledge to meet the required demands of that field and in the end he will be an unsuccessful person. In the modern world, what is more ridiculous is, an individual following his own positive values is disrespected and ridiculed by others, and he is considered as an unsuccessful person. If he does not follow the trend of the world, by respecting his values, then he is considered as a dull witted person. If one does not stick to the values at all times, then they cannot be considered as values. If one can attain anything by any means, then that success will not help either that individual or the society in due course of time. Success achieved without any values changes the meaning of success itself.
Life itself is a matrix for relationships. There are various types of relationships in one’s life. Relationship with parents, siblings, friends, enemies, teachers, boss, partners, neighbors and the list goes on. Success in life depends on the way we maintain these relationships. Each relationship plays an important role in different stages of our life. The manner in which we relate to our relations are not constant. It changes according to our personal development, status and mentality. At one stage our relationship with the parents are of prior importance, at another stage with the friends, at another stage with the partner and it changes at different periods in life. It is rare and difficult to maintain a constant relationship with a person throughout the life. The way we maintain our relationship makes all the difference. Some relationships we respect, some we ignore, some we pamper, some we insult, with some we take revenge and so on. Our emotions play an important role in maintaining a relationship. The experiences of the relationships form a deep impression in the mind and this leads to karma. Therefore, life is all about maintaining the relationship.
Every day we involve in various activities and we happen to relate to various types of people. Each relationship has their demands and one has to meet with that demand. The way we relate to different people changes every moment. We cannot relate to people at home in the same way we relate to people at the work place. Even in the work place we have to relate to the colleagues at different levels. With some we have to obey, with some we have to assert, with some we have to request and so on. Therefore in a day the mind has to constantly tune according to the people we relate to. If we fail to tune, the relationship also fails. This gives an extra strain to the mind. The efficiency to maintain the relationship makes all the difference. The quality of our relationships decides the quality of our life.
The basic of any relationship is a certain need. We always demand and expect from our relationships and this expectation causes all the trouble. We make friends, we marry, we have children, we make official and social relationships and so on with a single idea and expectation that these relationships will make us content and happy. When this fails the relationship also sours. In my view, any relationship will flourish when we share our happiness with others. For this one must be a content and happy person himself. Only then he can share his happiness with others. Instead, when one tries to extract happiness from others, slowly the relations try to distance themselves from us. The relationship begins to move apart. Failure in expectation of happiness results in abuse, insult, physical and mental torture, revenge and so on. In pursuit of happiness we make relationships and when we do not find contentment and happiness from others, we break with them.
If there is no sense of joy or happiness within us, we try to extract that happiness from others, and others try to extract it from us. The result is strain, confusion and tension. A person will be content only when he turns inside by meditation. If he always focuses on the worldly activities, he gets more frustrated by his experiences in the world. No one will be interested in a person who always shares his worries and problems, and shows his negative emotions on others. The people who are close to us are more defensive to us than the other people. This happens because we expect more from people who are close to us. This expectation is the main cause for failure in relationships. The way we maintain a relationship depends on our personality. A calm and serene minded person always maintains perfect relationship with everyone in spite of different situations and demands, and spirituality helps one to attain this mentality.
Severe punishment whether physical or verbal is a rude practice, but it is widely practiced without the knowledge of the depth of insult and hurt it causes to the person it is imposed on. Young kids to elderly people, regardless of the age and gender are subject to such arrogant and senseless practice. Punishments are imposed on people to correct them while doing mistakes and children are mostly punished so that they will not repeat the mistakes out of fear, or they will excel in studies due to fear of punishment. Whatever the reason be, fear is created in the mind of others by punishment. How can fear, which is a negative emotion, give a positive result without doing damage to the person it is imposed on? If the punishment is imposed on children, the damage it causes is more severe. Mostly punishment is imposed on others not only to correct others, but the people who have authority are inefficient to control their emotion of anger. People whom they think superior take revenge, satisfy their ego, and show their arrogance on others in the name of punishment. If punishment is imposed only to correct others then why do they fail to select other methods which are more sensible? People with authority fail to control their emotions, they show it on people who are at the receiving end. People with authority may be teachers, parents, elders in the family, bosses or one who have the authority to implement the law. Mostly children are the prey to this barbaric act.
What is the motive behind punishment? Severe punishment cannot make a person understand their mistakes. The physical hurt and mental insult caused to the person by punishment, will make the person weaker. In course of time it only boosts his ego, either positively or negatively. The insult one experience by punishment makes that person either take revenge at the later stage in life or make him a suppressed and dull person. His suppressed emotions will burst in an unexpected way. A disturbed mind will always disturb others. It will definitely take revenge on the people who imposed him severe punishment. Punishment may refrain him from doing one wrong, but indulge in other mistakes. People who have responsibility or authority must have the capability to make others understand their mistakes. Physical or mental torture will only worsen the situation. The scar of punishment never leaves the person’s mind, and it will react in all the negative ways possible. Corrective methods must be imposed in the most decent and dignified way, without causing the least damage either mentally or physically to the people who receive it. Physical torture and harsh verbal insults must be strictly avoided. Any law is respected in the way it is implemented. Human feelings must be given prior importance while implementing the law. Fear or deep insult never corrects a person. It only boomerangs in a negative manner.
Charity – it is the flow of help in various forms from the privileged towards the less privileged. It is a divine act, provided it should be performed with care and by following the spiritual rules. People who get help from us will probably bless us and praise us. Both of these should come deep from the heart of the receiver. For such thing to happen, the aim of the charity should be to help the people in need.
If charity is done by following the spiritual norms, then it helps both the receiver and the performer. Charity actually means sharing. It is not just giving. When the attitude of charity is sharing then the receiver will not have any inhibition or hesitation in receiving it, then only charity attains its purpose. Charity helps one to attain equal mentality towards others. It is an act of karma yoga. It should be done without any expectation from others. It should be done in a perfect manner without any defects. If charity is done for self praise, exhibition or advertisement then that charity is only a waste of time, energy and money. The notion of charity in the scriptures of all religions is that the totally of the material wealth in the world must be shared among all the existing people in the world. No one is expected to have more than they require. If they have excess, they have to share it with others. This principle is followed by all the religions in the world. Some will have the ability and talent to earn more. They have to share the excess with the other people in need. By this action it makes a person more humble and in due course of time, it erases the negative vasanas in the mind. Unfortunately, this principle is not followed while performing charity in today’s modern world. Many people perform charity so that their name will be of high esteem in the society, and they attain material and professional gains by performing charity. Charity done with this attitude in mind will only boost the ego. It will not help to have an equality of mind towards others.
Secondly, the scriptures say it is good if the receiver is an unknown person, because we will not have a chance to receive any help from them. Charity done with an expectation to receive future help from the receiver is not a perfect charity. It is corruption rather than charity. At the same time, care should be taken that the charity must reach the people who are in need; else the material we share will be wasted. The charity should not go towards a single receiver alone. We may imagine that if we have money every one will receive it. In my view, it is really hard to find a single person who is in real need of our money. Mostly the people who receive money from us may even survive without our help. It is a difficult task to find the real people in need of our help. Someone somewhere will be desperately searching for our type of help. It is really a sincere and hard job to find such a person to receive our charity. Each person receiving the charity should be respected and not insulted, mocked, ridiculed or ignored for receiving our charity. Such negative actions will negate the effects of our charity. Charity is a divine act. It should be performed with care and respect for others.