Source: via net
Source: via net
A Billy Graham story:
A little child was playing one day with a very valuable vase. He put his hand into it and could not withdraw it. His father too, tried his best, but all in vain. They were thinking of breaking the vase when the father said, “Now, my son, make one more try. Open your hand and hold your fingers out straight as you see me doing, and then pull.”
To their astonishment the little fellow said, “O no, father. I couldn’t put my fingers out like that, because if I did I would drop my penny.
Source: image from Big Boss 10
These are from பழமொழி நானூறு (Four hundred Proverbs). Since most of its content is similar to Naaladiyaar (an anthology of 4-liners compiled by jain monks in the post-sangam period), it is thought to be be written in the following period, possibly around 4th Century AD. These four hundred proverbs were collated and written in verse by the poet Mundrurai Arayanar (முன்றுரை அரையனார்).
தக்காரோடு ஒன்றி, தமராய் ஒழுகினார்;
மிக்காரால்’ என்று, சிறியாரைத் தாம் தேறார்;-
கொக்கு ஆர் வள வயல் ஊர!-தினல் ஆமோ,
அக்காரம் சேர்ந்த மணல்?
“They were one with the virtuous, lived like kith and kin,
hence they’re good too”, saying so no one will befriend them (the not virtuous);
Oh man from the town where paddy fields are full of cranes,
can one eat sand mixed with sugar?
பெரிய நட்டார்க்கும் பகைவர்க்கும், சென்று,
திரிவு இன்றித் தீர்ந்தார்போல் சொல்லி, அவருள்
ஒருவரோடு ஒன்றி ஒருப்படாதாரே,
இரு தலைக் கொள்ளி என்பார்.
When a close friend and his foe have a fight, one who goes and talks to both as if he is their friend and incites them,
making sure that they don’t reconcile, is said to be a torch lit in both ends (doubly dangerous).
Civilization is the foundation of every successful culture. It permits us to live in safety, without being crippled by fear. It’s the willingness to discuss our differences, not to fight over them. Civilization is efficient, in that it permits every member of society to contribute at her highest level of utility. And it’s at the heart of morality, because civilization is based on fairness.
The civilization of a human encampment, a city or town where people look out for one another and help when help is needed is worth seeking out.
We’re thrilled by the violent video of the iguana and the snakes, partly because we can’t imagine living a life like that, one where we are always at risk.
To be always at risk, to live in a society where violence is likely—this undermines our ability to be the people we seek to become.
Over the last ten generations, we’ve made huge progress in creating an ever more civilized culture. Slavery (still far too prevalent) is now seen as an abomination. Access to information and healthcare is better than it’s ever been. Human culture is far from fully civilized, but as the years go by, we’re getting better at seeing all the ways we have to improve.
And this can be our goal. Every day, with every action, to make something more civilized. To find more dignity and possibility and opportunity for those around us, those we know and don’t know.
Hence the imperative. Our associations, organizations and interactions must begin with a standard of civility. Our work as individuals and as leaders becomes worthwhile and generous when we add to our foundation of civilization instead of chipping away at it.
The standard can come from each of us. We can do it. We can speak up. We can decide to care a little more. We can stand up to the boss, the CEO, or the elected representative and say, “wait,” when they cross the line, when they pursue profit at the cost of community, when they throw out the rules in search of a brawl instead. The race to the bottom and the urge to win at all costs aren’t new, but they’re not part of who we are and ought to be.
He had visited Nepal to have darshan at the holy Pashupathinath temple.
On return, he presented himself before the Paramacharya and respectfully offered the temple prasadam and a rare rudraksha maalai (string of rudraksha beads).
‘Did you have a good darshan?’ the old sage inquired.
‘Yes, Sir, by god’s grace and your blessings.’
The sage lifted the maalai in his frail hands.
‘What’re you going to do with this?’
‘If you may kindly permit, I intend wearing it around my neck…’
There was silence.
‘So, you’ll always speak the truth?’
He was startled. ‘Yes, Sir, I’ll henceforth always speak the truth,’ the words almost rolled off his tongue.
He knew it was not possible at all try as he might. In the presence of the sage he would dare to speak untruth.
Holding himself back, ‘No, Sir, it’s impossible for me to be speaking truth at all times.’
‘Sir, I work in a bank. The official records are never unmixed truth. Further, if my manager orders me, I would be compelled to…’
‘Take this, if and when you find someone who never speaks untruth, give it to him.’
The man was mighty happy to receive the maalai back from the sage.
Rushing back he said to his wife: ‘Let’s do as you had suggested. We even have His okay. And imagine we never saw we always had someone with us right here with us in this house who never spoke untruth!’
Since then the maalai adorned the sage’s portrait in the pooja room!
The incident was shared some days later by the sage with another man who had come to have darshan: Your relative…that fellow who works in the bank…he has aspects of Harishchandra in this age. He didn’t lie to me he never lies…’