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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Home: springboard of good values

Neela Sood, Hindustan Times   November 21, 2012
First Published: 10:30 IST(21/11/2012) | Last Updated: 10:34 IST(21/11/2012)

Home is the springboard of good values. Today, when politicians of all hues and high-ranking officials are in the news for all the wrong reasons, the question arises: why is this happening?

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First, whosoever is involved in such frauds needs to remember that these constitute social sins in the words of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi. In 1922, Gandhiji, in his Young India article, mentioned seven social sins -- politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity and worship without sacrifice. This appears an apt description of our present-day social and political scenario.

As I have experienced, home is the springboard of good values. We as parents need to realise that money is a means and not the end. We need to give time to our children even if it means earning less and putting check on our lavish and pompous lifestyle. Open out one of the windows in our house to the spiritual light of dharma. What dharma I am talking about is not an organised religion like Hinduism, Islam or Christianity, but values like adherence to truth, patience, tolerance, non-violence, cleanliness of self and environment around, to shun the tendency to hoard, develop the capacity to forget and forgive, and above all to be sensitive to fellow human beings.

These values are the centre point of all religions but unfortunately we concentrate only on observing rituals with thrust on religious identity. We need to draw a balance between spiritualism and materialism.

This anecdote told by a retired tehsildar who enjoyed the reputation of being honest goes to prove how good parenting makes a difference in the life of a child. Once when the tehsildar was asked how he could remain honest and resist taking bribe in a job in which money flowed even if one didn't demand. Amused, he said, "My widowed mother struggled to teach me up to middle standard by cleaning utensils in the house of the village head. Fortunately, I was selected as a patwari and moved to a city.

Money would come even without my asking for it. Hardly a month had passed when I sent Rs. 40 from my savings to my mother. The delivery of the money order took away her peace of mind. She got suspicious of my source of earning since Rs. 40 was a big amount at the time vis-à-vis a patwari's measly salary. She sent back the entire amount to me with the message that had she known her son would become a corrupt official, she'd not have struggled to give me an education. I was pained and returned the money to the person who had bribed me and took a pledge that I'd live by honest means."

Corrupt politicians or officials, they all come from the same society, from among us, so the solution lies in reforming ourselves. Ham sudhrenge to jag sudhrega (If we reform ourselves, the world would be reformed).

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