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Spiritual way to change

Recently, in a TV debate, the topic was: ‘The rising graph of evil in society and the possible ways to reverse it.’

columns Updated: May 17, 2013 00:10 IST
Dominic Emmanuel
Dominic Emmanuel
Hindustan Times

Recently, in a TV debate, the topic was: ‘The rising graph of evil in society and the possible ways to reverse it.’ The cause for most evils in society, including the horrible incident of gang-rape in Delhi, was laid at the door of media and western culture, which are allegedly at the root of all evils in our country.

One of the panelists, while glorifying our culture as “by far the best in the world”, asserted, “The west had no culture at all”!

The view that if we wanted a lasting change in society, we should begin with ourselves was not entertained at all. Neither the dictum of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change that you want to see in the world”, nor the couplet by Kabirdas, “Bura jo dekhan mei chala, bura na milya koi, Jo dil khoja aapna, mujhse bura no koi” (In search of evil, I went around, none could I find; when I searched within, however, no one worse than me was found), had any takers.

Both John the Baptist as well as Jesus in the Gospels asked people to “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near” (Matthew 4:17), or “remove the log from your own eye first, then you will be able to see better the splinter in your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5). Again St. Paul says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2).

It is far more easy to preach to the world about what needs to change and how, but much more difficult to change ourselves. Einstein once famously said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Time to ponder and act for change.