DO WE PRACTICE WHAT WE PREACH OTHERS?
The conventional interpretation of practicing what we preach is that what we tell others to follow should be made applicable by us in our lives. Care ought to be paid if we follow more effectively what we exhort others to follow becomes an example for others to follow – without any finger being pointed towards us. For this interpretation, we ought to understand fully what we want conveying and also what are the principles on which our interpretation stands. Care should also be taken that our telling others may not become mere rhetoric but should have positive impact on the lives of people in general.
The easiest thing is to give advice to gullible on variety of subjects under the sun. Before dishing out sermons, we ought to reflect in the first instance, are we following the preaching in our lives or these are for others’ consumption? Also clarity of a message to be conveyed with its intrinsic attribute which a person giving discourses should have with an open and discerning mind can have far reaching effect on the parties concerned. Right attitude and sincerity of the discourser is a must.
Sometimes we remain thinking as to how others would come to know whether we ourselves follow what we preach others? But the concerned person is alive to it besides our All Knowing Being knows it fully well whether you are consuming it yourself what you are dishing out to others in the platter amply? It should never be construed that people will blindly follow our tirades just blindly as due to the strong currents of information revolution that is sweeping the world due to internet and electronic media popularity. It is in fact a shallow mentality to tell others follow your preaching while you yourself are not following the same. If we do it; it is a feeling driven by self aggrandizement and appeasement for short benefits /publicity
In Holy Quran it has been ordained: ’Whether you reveal a thing or conceal it indeed Allaha is ever; of all things; Knowing’
SOME PARADOXES OF SELF-FOLLOWING WHICH WE PREACH OTHERS.
- Ego Propitiation while preaching others to be egoless?
It has rightly been said in Shri Grangth Sahib: ‘O Nanak, one who understands His Command, does not speak in ego’.
It is seen that we usually appreciate to be egoless in our words and deeds but when gaunt falls on us or when we acquire some status we just brag about it all. It is wisely said that we should never let our environment and sensory desires control us. It should never be forgotten that worldly possessions including our including sense indulgence will end with the end of our life. Living a virtuous and spiritual life based on temptation for our Lord’s love would be everlasting and eternal treasure of our life – not the propitiation of our ego.
- Feeling at the Workplace. It has been observed; those offices where there is cooperation and fellow feelings between the management and the workforce there is improvement in productivity. When boss bosses around even when workers under him are performing at the peak is seen as a dismal byproduct of our thinking that over-control could deliver more. A leader in any organization has to keep his control over the people that is a axiomatic. But the same thing could be done by adopting kindhearted approach or when need be on the basis of reward and punishment approach and not entirely on the basis of mere punishment or unhealthy criticism. Need is to formulate habits based on compassionate thinking and discarding dictatorial tendencies.
- Preaching of Religious Discourses. Those Dharama Gurus who preach us the religious discourses would have lasting impression on us if these learned ones following the religious commandments themselves in their lives. For instance if we preach others to adopt the qualities of pity; piety; compassion; etc and adopt temptation; greed; attachment to relations and possessions; slavery to senses and living just mechanically being the enemies of ours then we ourselves have to adopt these positive qualities in our lives before preaching others. Otherwise we’ll have to face music when our true state is found out by the concerned people.
- Jealousy. Then jealousy is a bad trait which should be eradicated from our life.
—Bhagavad-Gita 1.39-43 “O Arjuna! You are anasuya (one who don’t know what jealous is) hence I am preaching you the Gita. Jealousy is the foremost bad quality amongst all of us……………his heart only. Arjuna’s Shoka (grief) became his yoga (path), but why does our shoka (grief) lead us to Roga (disease)? It is because Arjuna grieved for the society and we grieve only for our selfishness.’ Hence jealousy should be removed from our system totally.
- Parents and Habits (Good / bad). Parents want their offspring to imbibe all the good values/habits besides all the mores of behavior which are in sync with sociatical norms. Parenting is a tricky exercise. While we want our children to follow good path in their lives for this to happen it is necessary that parents adopt and follow those good habits ourselves first and then try preaching to our children. For instance if we want our children not to smoke then we should not smoke ourselves. Otherwise it is possible that our own children may point a finger at us. Then what?
- Avoiding Various Temptations. We tend to preach others not to be tempted by or fall prey to lust/power/greed for material prosperity because temptation is the dilution (maya) which engulfs us totally. We have to rid off this maya and replace it with God ordained ineffable bliss based on reason and conscience with our will power. We have to be unwilling to imbibe those temptations that are detrimental to the peace and harmony. It should be kept in mind that when a habit makes a residency in our brain and commands us to indulge in that it is difficult to desist from that path. It is through strong determined efforts to eradicate that habit from our system lest we become victim to our wrong habits.
It has rightly been mentioned: For because He Himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
In Bhagwad Gita it has been mentioned: Fearlessness; purification of one’s existence; cultivation of spiritual knowledge; charity; self-control……non-violence; truthfulness; freedom from anger; renunciation; tranquility; aversion to faultfinding; compassion……….steady determination; vigour; forgiveness; fortitude and freedom from envy and passion for honour are the qualities endowed with divine nature.
- Tax Payment when you have propensity to pay. Everybody knows that our Government runs with the taxes it collects from the people who have the propensity to pay. Despite this there are some people who do not pay. Is not it bad!
- Not Performing our Duties/Responsibilities Notwithstanding Capacity. In our offices sometimes we procrastinate the things we have the capacity and wherewithal to do instantly. This is really bad. Let it be known that we ought to carry out our responsibilities / assigned duties sincerely.
- Difference in right and wrong. We know that we should always follow the right course and shun the wrong one. But do we follow this right course always?
- Dharma and Adharma. We usually aspire for following dharma but still many a times lead a life of Adharma thus continue falling into the ocean of adharma despite knowing its ill-effects
- Never feel lowly despite being born in our Lord’s mould. Despite knowing that we are born with the the grace of God yet we designate others according to our own yardsticks. This is really bad.
- Waning Confidence in over-confidence. While confidence is good yet audaciousness bordering on over-confidence could lead to disastrous results.
Conclusively it could be inferred that we should first of all practice what we want others to follow – than and then only we sould be effective in our endeavour.