There lived a young lethargic man who spent his most of the time in sleeping and wandering around his village. He had never worked under anyone for more than two days. He had so many excuses for not doing the work and keeps blaming others to hide his inability. His favorite time pass is sleeping under the boughs of a spreading tamarind tree, where an old man does his business of selling sweets. The old man used to look at this sleeping young man and one day decided to teach him a lesson. So he called the young man and said in low voice, “You know, there is a forest in the outskirts of village! There is a precious treasure inside a cave. But the cave’s entrance is blocked by very big rock. See, I’m old, if you want you can take that.” The young man got delighted and found a permanent solution to his financial problem. So he found that cave and started to dispatch the rock which is obstructing the way. After several months with hard efforts he moved the rock and entered the cave. To his surprise there was no treasure. He got angry and went to the old man and shouted at him, “You cheat. There was no treasure. I’m going to kill you now”. The old man with smile said, “Boy, you already got the treasure. Just see how you are now and what the transformation you had in the past few months. Now you are no longer lazier, your body become strong and more over you got the attitude to work. The state of mind you got now is the real treasure.”
In pursuit of any task there is an expectation, the task may succeed or fail, but the important question is how you are going to react for the success or the failure? And that is what defines you, the Character. Especially in a failure moment, you got the right opportunity to build your character. In the journey of life, everyday you come across the cross-road of making the decision to choose the right path which will define your character. But the right path is always tough. It is easy to get angry at others, easy to blame others, easy to point at others in a bad situation, and easy to be selfish. But it is not easy to forgive, accept the mistakes or to be selfless. You might have accomplished many achievements at a gross level, but at subtle level you might not have improved and your character remains at the same level. Most of the things are done for sake of pride. As Abraham Lincoln quotes, “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” How much time do you devote to the shadow part of your life rather than observing your true-self? Courage is what you dare to do in public; Conscience is what you dare not do in private. Clear conscience forms the base for the character because it roots at the thought level. It is worth to build right character rather than make achievements just for greed and pride.
Building a right character is a difficult task. It is subjected to ultimate test. Character is the state of mind you reach after some experience and its reflection is the behavior. There is lot of factors that plays key roles in shaping the character. But at least we must have these three sorts of ideas in the mind.
– We must have friendship for all. Our mind will always have the attitude of comparing others. So when others are in joy, it makes us jealous or makes us worry for the inability to accomplish that. If we develop friendship attitude, then their joy is our joy.
– We must be merciful towards those that are in misery. Showing compassion shows the openness of the character.
– We must show indifference or neutrality to people who cause trouble to us. This requires patience and endurance, but instead of getting angry or causing pain to them it is better to neglect them.
The core spirit of the above ideas is not to cause injury at thought level to others. It is tough to follow these ideas, but that what constitutes the real accomplishment in your life.
Build the character.