Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Love and a question of moral choices

I have been pondering the issue of moral choices in life especially with regard to honesty, integrity and truth. I saw an Indian film long time back - Satyakam, directed by the hugely talented and sensitive Hrishikesh Mukherjee and with Dharmendra in the lead. The film had greatly moved me and I believe it had a hand in shaping my being in the years to come. On the question of morality, I can not honestly claim that I have always lived up to the standards and values that I admire in others although I am grateful that largely thanks to my mother's influence on me, I have largely stayed out of rat race for material or financial gains.

These days, I have been reading Gurcharan Das' "The Difficulty of Being Good." I recommend the movie and the book to everyone who feels concerned about the issue of right and wrong in life. Among the other books I would want my son to read are ' Jonathan Livingston Seagul', The Little Prince, The Alchemist, The Prophet, War and Peace, and Brothers Kramazov.

I consider any movement for improvement in society meaningless so long as it does not have love and compassion as its core driving forces. Anything that is not covered by love -- unflinching love and all embracing compassion -- is not covered by goodness. Any movement that smacks of bitterness can only dwarf not only the society in which it operates but even its own protagonists. I always believe that if springs of love continue to surge forth from within my heart, I will be able to achieve every thing that I consider good for human kind. But the fight against bitterness, pettiness, prejudice and selfish greed and ego in one's own heart is a constant one and is never over -- except if one happens to be saint, which must be the goal of everyone who likes to believe that he/she means well towards society. And for me, love is the shortest route to saintliness. Love that must open vistas to endless humility.

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