Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.
THE WISE AND THE OTHERWISE (cont'd)
Looking at the wise method of living and the consequences of the otherwise, we have seen it at the closest level of family, at the wider level of employment. Now how to view shreyas and preyas in terms of prosperity.
We all desire to become prosperous, is it not? When all work towards the prosperity of the community, nation, even the world, then every individual, family, community and nation is taken care of. In the prosperity of others lies our own prosperity and well-being. Can the wise one, the follower of shreyas, sit in a place of comfort and wealth, enjoying the benefits thereof, and watch others around who are starving or ill without at the very least offering funds to those who can make a difference in easing the suffering?
So many work out of self-interest and not for the greater good. There is insecurity and fear around losing the wealth gained, not understanding that sharing it does not deplete one at all. There is a parable of Sri Vishnu, who invited all the deities and the demons to Vaikuntha for a feast. After a warm welcome, the Lord gave instructions that none should bend their elbows whilst eating. The demons got angry and, shouting anti-Vishnu slogans, staged a walkout in true parliamentary style! However, the deities cheered. Each fed the other and all were happy.
Feeding ourselves is joy. Feeding others, or being fed ourselves from another's generosity, is double the joy.
In being unselfish, all are looked after. In being selfish the rich become richer and the poor become poorer. The mighty and cunning loot and exploit the weak or helpless. All food and water is put into the mouth. The teeth chew it, the stomach digests it and thereafter the nutrients are distributed to every cell of the body by an excellent delivery system. Each does its role selflessly and all benefit. If the teeth retain the food, they decay and stink and have to be removed and replaced…
The government/ruler is like the mouth. Collecting the taxes and attending to distribution to the various departments. If a certain minister or individual boards the national wealth, distribution becomes unfair, certain sections of the community will be neglected and the nation will suffer. At best this is poor management. At worst, it is corruption. It corrodes the soul of the country.
As individuals, the path of shreyas in this instance is to pay our taxes without complaint - to know that it is for one's neighbour who may have less, it is for the community who share the roads or utilities… and in a fair system, we get a vote on who is managing the community funds; if we don't like what we see being done, we can exercise our choices through voting for another. Where voting is not made compulsory, we follow the path of shreyas if we show an active interest in politics and make sure that we use the privilege of voting. Where we have surplus, we might also put funds to charity - and where no funds are we can seek to at least support through provision of some of our time, or preparing food or clothing for donation. The Wise are active in sharing and caring. The Otherwise… otherwise.