When we act to serve ourselves, it is never absolutely painless. More than the troubles that we have to undergo while in action; the uncertainties of the outcome of our action exhaust us. We are neither sufficiently confident about our own abilities, nor about the evenness of the external circumstances; hence, we tend to trespass the limits of nonviolent thoughts and action, thereby causing harm to self and our immediate surroundings.
The things do not materially change when we intend to serve others without any self-interest. This, in many ways, confirms the theory that any human action is never free from violence. But, all said and done; to act is human. All types of efforts for changes and advancements in our material as well as spiritual lives, perhaps, can never be free from inherent defects of human action.
It may not be practically possible to completely eliminate all the defects associated with our actions, but, it may be possible to reduce, to a great extent, the violence associated with our actions, whether selfish or selfless, if we redefine our role as duty-bound humble contributors in the affairs of the world, instead of crediting ourselves as ‘able and responsible’ performers. We do not give any credit to a tree that gives us fruits and shadow and maintains environmental balance. It is because, the contribution it makes, comes to it naturally; and, if it fails, there is something naturally wrong with it.
There are innumerable natural actions a human being has to take for which he is not expected to take any credit; on the contrary, if those actions are not taken, it, naturally, becomes inhuman. No credit can be taken for saving someone who is drowning in a river; but, not saving him is inhuman and a matter worth discrediting. To act for physical, intellectual and spiritual advancement of self and the fellow beings is something that must come from as ‘natural contribution’ that we have do without expecting any credit there against.
Most of our theories relating to motivation, performance, incentives and rewards do not honor the natural human behavior. These theories deny intellectual and spiritual superiority of human being that can supersede instinctive naturalness in other living beings to make the man, perhaps, a greater contributor to the affairs of the world.
Maybe, if we deeply contemplate and make efforts for redefining our role as human beings, we will be able to make our actions less violent, and hence, less painful.
PROMOD KUMAR SHARMA
[The writer of this blog is also the author of “Mahatma A Scientist of the Intuitively Obvious” and “In Search of Our Wonderful Words”.]