Every good fortune we receive is a gift from the universe

Every good fortune we receive is a gift from the universe
Sajith Kumar
It was one of those gentle winter Sunday afternoons, when the sun lounges next to you on the couch while you sip a hot cuppa chai. In fact, the good weather resides in your home like a friend. I was reading the newspaper, but the news these days is so depressing, I just left the paper unattended on the side table. Instead, I started admiring the lovely porcelain vase on the centre table holding aloft a spray of white lilies. The strange thing about this vase is that we need to put very little water in it, because for some unknown reason it leaks even if half-filled. We have tried hard to see where is the crack, how it leaks, how to fix it, but after much effort, nothing could be seen. At least not to the naked eye! So, now we put just a little water and flowers that would stay. Funny thing about beauty is that it can be so attractive on the outside, yet have such invisible flaws that everything leaks out of it.

A bit like people. Some people are so well thought of, such standing in society, so admired, that they bring a smile to others’ lips. Like a rapt audience, one follows their life with interest and because they dangle in the spotlight, we tend to think they lead enviable lives. The beauty on the outside arrests us.

Then one day, the cracks show up, invisible cracks in the form of aberrations in behaviour, irresponsible behaviour, arrogant and insolent behaviour. People you think were leaders in their field, suddenly reveal feet of clay. Politicians, who hold office through a collective vote, suddenly become self-serving, greedy and above the law. Upstanding citizens who were ‘the’ example and weeded out injustice and corruption, suddenly fall prey to their own lesser self.

Finally, beauty is both within and without. It is sad that people can have all the wealth, yet have no values or scruples. You can own a mansion, yet have no joy! The moment one puts someone on a pedestal, he gets a god complex and believes he is above the law. The world owes us nothing, every good fortune we receive is a gift from the universe. A gift for which we must be grateful because money and power can liberate only if we let them, otherwise they imprison and inhibit us more than iron chains.

It’s almost funny that we live in a time when virtue is no longer a virtue. It has fallen out of favour. Words like morality, values and piety are ridiculed, and are not the flavour of the season. We need to examine the absence of it in our daily lives. You see there cannot be a vacuum. If good is thrown out of our lives, it is replaced by evil or vice. It is time to take values out of the dust heap of non-use! If we do not consciously choose to nurture qualities of courage, wisdom, compassion and hope, the opposite will take root in the form of indifference, degeneracy, selfishness, and greed.

Too many of our leaders shun the high moral ground and take the path of least resistance to satisfy their greed and ego. What we forget is that everything costs, even mistakes. So, since we have to pay a price for everything done or undone, better we pluck up the courage to operate from our higher self, our finer and better self. For we all have it. I turn back to my hot cuppa chai, a summons to arms!

(The writer is a theatre director and novelist)

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