Wednesday, April 9, 2014


I think we should live with a clear conscience.  The only way to live with a clear conscience is to live without fear.  Fear is part of our daily lives. What are we afraid of?

We are afraid that we should not say anything that we are not supposed to; that we will hurt someone; that this person will never speak to us again; what will people say; what if I get caught doing whatever action?  What if, what if.....

One or the other fear is always hanging over our head. This fear makes us impotent and prevents us from making, what in our hearts we know, to be the right decision. Most times we have no fear in making the wrong decision for what we convince ourselves to be “for the good of all”. We tend to compromise for convenience, to maintain a peaceful environment and in some cases the lack of our own decisiveness.  But to make one right decision (that is true to our heart) we will think so much and eventually talk ourselves out of it. Our "shouldn’t" and "couldn’t" take over. 

(Edited) One other aspect of fear is the "fear of unknown" (as mentioned in the comment below). If we cannot predict what is going to happen then we are afraid of going there. We have the need to be in control. We like to be in our "safe zone" where we know what is going to happen.  I have seen people who spend their entire life in the same one house - they grow up there, go to college, work and retire in the same city. They never venture outside - some may not need to, but some are paralyzed by the fear of what may be out there. People who can let go of some this control are "risk takers". They are sometimes the most successful people in their life. One has to be able to let go of their fears to achieve something; otherwise one may not know what one is capable of. 

I wish we would keep our hearts and head clear for doing the right thing.  I know you might think – but what is the right thing to do? In your heart you know what the right things is.  If you make the right decision and make the right choices you will never have to worry about anyone or anything. Because you know what did came straight from your heart. Once you are convinced of your decision then its not hard to convince anyone else (and sometimes there is no need to!).

Eventually there is only one person you have to live with – yourself.  If you cannot even do that, then what is this life about?  There should not be any hidden motive for doing anything.  We should do all our work with a clear mind and conscience then only will we be happy.  It is very easy to find out if you are living with a clear conscience – you will be healthy: physically, mentally and emotionally.  Poor physical health is easy to detect: insomnia, digestion problems, high stress, depression and general melancholy.  (Our bodies detects distress sooner than our brain can.)

When we are mentally healthy then the world is a more manageable place to be! We tend to make good decisions, we are more comfortable in our skin and life becomes less like a battle and more enjoyable.  These in my opinion are clear markers of healthy mind and body.

Remember the Sholay dialog of Gabbar Singh, 
"Jo dar gaya samjho mar gaya!" 
So live your life - fearlessly!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Character of a person makes him who he is. (I will use "he" just for convenience - otherwise we know there can be a "she" also).

Character is a sum of experiences, wisdom from those experiences, personal values, maturity and I also believe it is somewhat destined. We can see good character in children - where does that come from? One sibling can differ so much from another: they have the same upbringing and same parents and environment, yet they can behave so differently. How? I don't know. Which is why I believe that character is destined.

In my thinking, character of a person is seen in their honesty, loyalty, respect, high moral values, ethics and humility. Humility because one should not let get all the other characteristics get into their head and turn into pride and ego. One should have good character just because it is a good thing - not to prove anything to anyone. Sometimes people call people with good character "self-righteous". I think that feeling comes because they can see the good in others which they know they themselves do not or cannot possess.

For most part, people live their lives without giving much importance on how the other person behaves because it really does not affect them too much in a day to day basis. However, the closer the relationship, the more important the character of a person becomes.  We tend to make friends with people who share our values in life. So if the character of a person is not matching with ours, we will not only not be friends but we will not trust them either.

Most of us can survive with whatever degree of negative character we have. (The more the negative value the harder the life!) The character of a person shows its true colors under extreme circumstances. If one can come out of that time/situation with gravitas then we can say - Okay! this person has shown some character!

Some good souls may not have a need for their character to be tested, because they have such high ethics and morals that they will never fail. Those really are higher beings.

I feel these days most people use character as a commodity; they use it as convenient to them. They use it where they see a value for it and not where they don't. They may show good character to their boss but then go out the mistreat their subordinate. They may show they have high values and moral to their family yet not show respect to strangers or sometimes even friends. Or in some cases, they may say they have high values, yet when the time comes to actually show it, they behave contrarily.

People with such bipolar behaviour can lose the center of their gravity - the core of their being. They can lose perspective of who they were, who they are and what they are becoming. They may lose track of how they are behaving and with whom. And if they keep continuing on that path then all their different roads will start crossing each other eventually the "real" person will start to emerge - the one who uses character as convenient to them. And using character as a commodity is not good character to begin with - that's called having "loose character". All that they were trying to accomplish will be lost in one second.  All the good will get washed out with one single bad action - trust will be broken. And trust is a like a glass vase, you can join it if it breaks but the cracks will always remain.

I believe in living with a set of values whereby
  • I can sleep peacefully at night
  • I know that I have not hurt anyone with my actions or words (at least not consciously)
  • I have not asked anyone to do anything for me that I myself would not do. I cannot place anyone else's ethics on the line - otherwise I will lose my morality by asking someone else to lose theirs. 
  • I know that I did my best in whatever I was doing and 
  • that I will keep doing my best.
I don't want to live a life that is lie. It does not serve any purpose. It is better to remove oneself from the situation rather than face a lifetime of living a lie. If an action is not making someone happy, or making you happy then maybe that action is not worth taking. Not that every action has to make someone happy and not that every lie is a bad one - that action and that lie that ruins relationships are not worth it!!

In life we come across situations where we may not want to do something but we are being compelled to do it - for the good of a larger cause or the good of a person. We have use our judgement in those cases and decide what is more important to us - our values, our good name or making the other person happy even though it is not the right thing to do. We have to feel satisfied and ultimately live with our decision.

I want to live a life where I have nothing to hide, I have nothing to be ashamed of, I have no regrets and I am at peace with myself. I want to live with the feeling that I did the right thing - under the circumstances. A thief may think that stealing is fine and it is righteous according to him, but deep down somewhere he knows what he did was wrong. What I am saying is I should be able to live with my decisions. 

I may have referred to this bhajan before also - but really - its my favorite one! It conveys the message that your "self" is the mirror of your character - you know what you are doing is just or not.