Archive for October, 2009

Are you a good human being?

October 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Are you a good human being? … That’s the title of one of the articles in Time life today.

Mousumi, a Friend of mine, asked me are u a good human being? Without thinking and asking the reference my answer was … NO!

I didn’t know what she was talking about but my response was very prompt. Later on I picked up the article and after going trough it … my answer was still same with even more conviction.

The article explores the question in view of a book by Mr. Gurcharan Das, with ample examples from the one of the greatest epic on earth – Mahabharata. The book looks at all the characters of the epic and tries to figure out if all the so called good people were really good.

The article cites many examples from the book – the major being the Draupadi incident – saying that if all the people were really good then how did they let such a shameful act to happen!

The article also takes some responses of people from routine life. Responses were varied ranging from I am good to I am confused!

Now having said ‘NO’ twice to the question … I rather found, after reading the article, that I was more in sync with one of the responses – and as usual could answer both yes and no… and that my no did have some goodness in it. I feel that I am a mix of both … sometimes good when I see all the worse things which people around me are doing and have done and feel I am bad when I see people who are doing better then me … are selfless, helping and kind and that there is lot more that I could have done or could do.

Like yesterday while coming back form the Sonu Nigam concert at Red Fort, I felt bad and uncomfortable when I saw the rag pickers sleeping on the pavement and dividers in the middle of road, or the small children trying to find something to eat from the dust bins or the young boy who had been taken in custody by police for interrogation knowing that he will not have any say what so ever! (And here it’s not as if I was seeing all this for the first time, working with NGO I have seen worse)

Then again at the dental camp which I participated in on Sunday Morning, I felt good that we were giving a chance to the children for better dental health by the regular checkup but again the feeling of not doing enough reached me when the number of Tooth Brushes which we distributed came out to be much less then the number of children who actually needed them!

So I guess it’s always a see-saw which goes on…it is more of a Probability question with more then one way of looking at the glass and less like a Mathematics question with only one answer.

In fact I will like to call it the ‘Grown up question’ – Grown up people never answer a question with one straight answer rather they always leave some space for changing it…giving some alternative answer at different times as per the need and occasion. For they have realised by now that there are no absolutes … there are always shades of grey and black & white are just colours not two sides of a spectrum.

But as long as there is a scope of doubting one’s goodness, keeping the sadistic fun and selfish motive of annoying, hurting another person at bay and keep on doing the minimum possible good things we will all survive and so will the civilization.

So for the third time I will answer the question as – I am trying not to be bad by being good …

To read the Times article

Are you a good human being?

Categories: Spirituality