Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Selfless vs. Selfish

(Day 4, Samelan 2014)
These two words may sound similar but when used as a verb, produce two completely different actions and reactions.
The true essence of these words can be seen, daily, at Samelan, through many acts performed by many, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Such as when queuing up for meals, at bath time, at bed time and every time they step out of the darbar or halls, in search of their shoes/sandals.
Like many, I was guilty of taking shoes that didn't belong to me whenever my shoes went missing. I would make up many excuses in my head, to console my heart that disagreed with the decision made and feed it false information like, 'I'm sure everyone's taking the next person's shoe, so no one will be shoeless', in order to silence the good vs bad debate.
All attempts and reasoning to silence it was futile because it knew I was committing a crime. To know something is wrong and still do it is far worse than doing it ignorantly.
Every step I took in those shoes, I swear I heard the shoes scrKam ing accusingly at me "NOT YOURS! NOT YOURS! NOT YOURS!" Call it bad luck or karma but whichever shoes I took to replace my stolen shoes, never stayed loyal to me. They would vanish as soon I removed them.
However all that changed when I saw a group of young Mighties running barefooted on hot tar road that was full of tiny sharp pebbles. They were all barefooted because one of their friend lost her shoes so they all decided to be barefooted. They made a collective decision so the friend without her shoes would not feel left out.
I was awed at their sacrifice to put away their shoes instead of taking another person's shoes.
So pure, innocent and un-polutted their thoughts were. The thought of taking another person's shoe was not something that even crossed their minds. So what went wrong to my innocence? I pondered. That's when the Jatha's learning modules (LM) for the day made so much sense to me.
It was about the 5 vices that can erode a person's character - Kam (lust), Krodth (anger), Lobh (greed), Moh (emotional attachment) & Ahaankar (ego). These are the 5 vices that cause many people to cut queues, take more than they need - be it food from the langgar or extra mattresses/pillows, not being sympathetic to another's need, right down to taking another person's shoes.
What's your thoughts on this?

Thank you for stopping by at A cuppa for my thoughts


  1. My first thought was to suggest writing your initials on your shoes so that everyone would know which was theirs. But then I thought: what lessons would I gain if I was faced with the same choices under these circumstances? I realized I might actually choose the lessons over the practical solution. Thank you for that realization!

    1. Thank you. Isn't it just amazing how the little ones are able to teach the adults such valuable lesson, without even trying hard. It is like they eat, sleep and breathe many lessons which some adults like me had forgotten.