Be honest, be also resourceful
MANY who claim themselves to be ‘practical’, feel that to go ahead in life, it is often necessary to compromise on one’s integrity. They also point out to many simple and honest persons suffering, especially financially, while those who have been corrupt appear to thrive.
Such philosophy would, prima facie, in fact, appear to hold some water, especially because there also exist many ‘honest’ persons, who, on observing others’ comfortable living, nurse doubts about their own values. They even conclude that one cannot be honest and also be above want at the same time — that is, one cannot have the cake and eat it too!
A deeper analysis would, however, convince that those who take such a cynical view are not simple persons but mere simpletons, whose list of virtues commences with honesty and also ends there. Such ‘honest’ persons do not have the urge to extend honesty to other needed virtues, so necessary for true fulfilment. Life, limited in this manner, is prosaic, laughable and is, actually, no life at all!
Honesty, inspired by true courage of conviction, would always also go with intelligent hard work, enterprise and dynamism. Thus the seeker not merely obtains peace of an honest mind but also materialistic gains (artha), to fulfil his true desires (kama). Established in righteousness (dharma), he finally wins liberation (moksha) from all wrong living and worldly bondage.
It is through this holistic and integrated approach, “tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection”. Its practical working is illustrated by Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Striving for excellence in flight, Jonathan learns to “find the rare and tasty fish that schooled ten feet below the surface of the ocean” and to “ride the high winds far inland to dine there on delicate insects”. He is thus the winner, even from the materialistic point of view, having also fulfilled the call of the spirit within.
The late Gomathy Krishnanand, the first principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Trivandrum used to inspire her students, telling, “there is always room at the top” in this vast world, for him, who is good, honest and also willing, daring and resourceful. This awesome combination of such abiding integrity within and also effective persistence would obtain the twin blessings of being both honest and also being prosperous in every way — the blessing of having the cake and eating it too! This, doubtless, is unmatched skill in action (karmasu kaushalam)!