Thursday, May 19, 2011

15. Live and Let Live

Live and let live is a golden principle. It tells us about the importance of the spirit of cooperation and brotherhood. We should practise tolerance in our domestic, social, national and international life. Only then can most of our problems and disputes be solved. Most of the people are selfish and narrow-minded. They want to live comfortably. They do not bother about the comforts of others. They do not know that all of us are one. God is our father and all men and women are brothers and sisters. Guru Nanak, Mahatma Gandhi and later on our beloved leader Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru also stressed the need for fellow-feeling. Live and let live is one of the principles of Panch Sheel. If the big nations of the world become tolerant towards each other, the clouds of war can disappear in no time. But the tragedy is that the big powers want to exploit others. They want to enjoy at the cost of others. The need of the hour is that we should rise above petty jealousies. By serving others we serve our ownselves. In the welfare of others lies our own welfare. All our holy books, prophets and well-wishers of mankind have been preaching to us to practise this ideal. The world can be worth living only if we act upon this principle.

14. Health is Wealth

Good health is a valuable treasure that a man can possess. It is only sound health that enables us to enjoy all the pleasures of life. We cannot enjoy prosperity brought by wealth if we do not enjoy good health. A rich man on a sick bed envies the lot of a healthy man eating a coarse diet and sleeping on the hard floor. Health cannot be purchased with money whereas wealth once lost can be re-earned. Life has provided us several comforts and amenities. A well-furnished house, tasty dishes and the servants ready to carry out the orders have little charm for the landlord who has been ailing (sick) for a long time. He is a burden to those around him. After sometime he becomes an object of pity. A sound mind dwells in a sound body. Physical health is necessary for good mental health. A healthy man is calm and peaceful at all times. He can enjoy intellectual pursuits. He can read religious books or life stories of great souls and enrich his own mind. An unhealthy man has a sick mind. He feels irritated over trifles. It is therefore essential that we should take great care of our health. We must realise that health is real wealth. It has been rightly said that if wealth is lost nothing is lost. Wealth can be re-earned. But it is not easy to regain lost health.

13. Rome was not Built in a Day

This quotation means that it requires very many efforts and hard labour spread over several years to achieve something big. Miracles do not happen overnight. The Roman empire was very powerful. It spread to three continents, Europe, Africa and Asia. It took several years for the Roman empire to become strong. What is true of the Roman empire is also true in the case of individuals. Industry is the key to success and greatness in life. A man should start working with perseverance and diligence. Patience is also necessary. Of course, a long period of time is needed before the result of the untiring efforts is seen. In the end he will become great. Success does not come to man in a miraculous way. It does not fall from heaven in the shape of a gold biscuit. For a long time one has to fight against the trials and tribulations of life. If a man faces the difficulties of life cheerfully, success is bound to come to him; success never comes through magic. One has to work hard to achieve success. There is no substitute for hard work. The wind and the weather are always on the sides of the ablest navigators. The Bhakra Dam, the Damodar Valley Project, the Pokharn Nuclear Explosion, the launching of the Aryabhatt and Bhaskar, the building of the City Beautiful, that is Chandigarh, are not overnight achievements. Hence there is every truth in the saying that Rome was not built in a single day.

12. A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

It is true that an ignorant man is worse than a beast. But to say that a man with a little knowledge is dangerous seems to be ridiculous. Man has always tried to pursue knowledge. In the early days of civilisation, man had a very little knowledge. It was much less than knowledge possessed by man today. Still he was better than the man who lived in ignorance like a beast. But imperfect knowledge can also prove harmful. In some cases it may lead to disaster. A mechanic who is not well-versed with the functioning of the machine he handles, may soon put it out of order. Similarly, a doctor whose acquaintance with the human anatomy is imperfect may diagnose a disease incorrectly and prescribe a medicine which may harm the patient. We have heard of several patients dying at the hands of quacks. In all such cases mere elementary knowledge of the subject may result in doing greater harm than good. It is wiser to seek the help and guidance of a specialist on the subject. There are persons who have a little knowledge. But they seldom think that their knowledge is limited. They think that they know much. Due to their narrow outlook they fail to recognise their limitation. Such a person is always dangerous. An ill-informed teacher is bound to misguide his students. An ill-trained soldier will bring a bad name to his country by his misdeeds. A lawyer with a superficial knowledge can bring about destruction of an innocent man. In fact in every walk of life a little knowledge proves to be dangerous. A man of true knowledge is always humble and regards himself as a mere child gathering pebbles on the shores of the ocean of knowledge.

11. Change is the Law of Nature

This line means that change is the law of life. There is nothing fixed in this ever-changing world. Change is the order of the world. The essence of life is motion and change. The old order of things and life must change and its place must be taken by the new. Absence of change means decay, death and absence of progress. In fact our very progress and development depend on change or motion. For example, a child grows up into a boy, a boy into a youth and a youth develops into an old man. The moon waxes and wanes ; buds bloom and wither; empires prosper and decay, day succeeds night. Nature around us is in a constant flux. Stagnation is a hateful thing to her. What was good in one age might be bad in the next; circumstances need changing customs. Even a good custom does a lot of harm if it is maintained for a long time. Human society undergoes a constant change. Nobody can put a stop to it. Change is necessary for the progress of human race. Human progress and civilisation are but the products of change. It is through change that man has got his present position. It is not easy to have an idea of the condition of the world without change. From age to age, change has ever been a matter of sheer necessity. It is for this reason that variety has been spoken of as the spice of life. In every department of human life, the old order changeth. Every age in history has its own standards which are changed by the succeeding age. Life without change will be dull. If things were to remain the same, destruction would follow. In our daily life we see how old customs are replaced by the new ones. Our modes of life too are undergoing change. We should adjust ourselves to the changing circumstances, changing manners and customs. We must not cling to the old times.

10. Handsome is that Handsome Does

Physical beauty is not the true test of handsomeness. Sometimes bright eyes, a sharp nose, red cheeks and curly hair are considered to be signs of beauty. But this conception of beauty is not without certain defects. Physical beauty is a short-lived thing. It is a nine days wonder. It falls within the compass of time which destroys everything. Real beauty and true handsomeness lie in our deeds and actions. A man who performs noble and heroic deeds is handsome in the true sense of the word. Our success or failure in life is not measured by the physical beauty but by the beauty of character. Socrates was very ugly to look at. But his noble deeds have made him immortal. Abraham Lincoln was also very ugly and awkward looking. His work for the removal of slavery has made him immortal in the history Of the U.S.A. All the great men have found a permanent place in the temple of fame and beauty because of their noble deeds. Men like Gandhiji, Nehru and Shastri have left permanent footprints on the sands of time. So a man is handsome not because of physical charms but because of his noble actions. It is true that handsome is he who does noble and virtuous deeds.

9. Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Civilisation is the product of man’s wants. The intensity of want leads to a thing of civilisation. It is this necessity which awakens our hidden power and makes the mind inventive to think of the ways and means to meet the necessity. The primitive man learnt the use of fire and the art of building on account of sheer necessity. Then there came up courts to put an end to the law of the jungle. Man learnt the art of agriculture to satisfy his needs. Man’s life is full of struggle and activities. Behind all the striving is the motive force provided by the circumstances and wants of man. As the wants increase, man invents more and more ways to meet them. We think of providing ourselves with clothes when we feel cold. There are so many things in our daily life. They are man attempts to provide his wants. In fact all the inventions in the-history of man are a result of his necessities. In a word, progress of mankind is not possible without wants and dire necessities. So it is correct to say that necessity is the mother of invention.

8. Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

This proverb means to be careful about small matters and to ignore bigger issues. It is said of a person who is very careful about a penny. Such a person would try to show his wisdom in saving small sums of money. If he falls ill, he would like cheap tablets suggested by neighbours. It is good to save money. But it is foolish not to spend money when great risks are involved. It is really like saving a penny at the cost of a pound. A man who does not call in a doctor has to realise his folly when the disease is past remedy. Then he has to send for a specialist in the disease. In that case he has to spend more. He also runs the risk of losing his life. Such a foolish person may spend large sums of money in drinking or gambling. Thus he is foolish in spending pounds. Wisdom lies in saving money on unnecessary things and spending it on important things.

7. “God is in His Heaven and All is Right with the World”

These well-known lines have been spoken by Browning. They express extreme optimism. They tell us that a divine power rules this world and right and justice prevail here. But this belief turns out to be false when we actually examine the human conditions and circumstances. God may be in His Heaven but the truth is that all is not well with the world which is a place of sorrow and suffering. Some poets have said that this world is a dim vale of tears. Hardy feels that happiness is but an occasional episode in the general drama of pain. In his famous poem ‘Ode to A Nightingale’ Keats says how young men die an untimely death, the suffering and the sick groan and get no relief, beauty is short-lived. Evil, wickedness, misery and injustice prevail in the world. It seems that God does not appear to care much for human welfare. It also appears that the world has been given over to the Devil himself. This is specially true of the modern age. Development of science has reached a stage at which even a very slight carelessness on the part of man can bring disaster to the world. Things are growing from bad to worse. Everywhere there are signs of danger ahead. Not only in the political field, but in other spheres of activity also, there are discontent, nervousness, fear, suspicion and mistrust. It is not possible to agree with Browning that ours is a world in which right and justice are more powerful than evil and wickedness.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

6. A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss

It is well known that no moss can gather on a piece of stone which constantly rolls from place to place. What is true of a stone is true of human beings also. Those persons who have no fixed principles cannot succeed in life. If they cannot stick to any purpose for long and allow their resolution to change constantly, they can do nothing worthwhile. In life they change constantly and like a weather-cock with every gust of wind, they fly from resolution to resolution. The result is that they meet with failure and face disappointment. Constant change stands in the way of their progress and ruins their career. Every change of place and work involves total or partial loss of time, energy and money spent. It needs fresh preparation, inventions fresh investment of money and energy and fresh efforts to overcome difficulties. So whether a person is a doctor, a lawyer, a tutor or a businessman, he should learn to labour. Success in life smiles upon those persons who have a firm will and a fixed purpose. If they do not stick to one profession but go on adopting new professions, their labour will be lost. Every time they will have to prepare a new ground, create a new market, select new friends and find new methods. Only those persons who stick to one place and work honestly with a firm will can rise to the top of the ladder. Fame, fortune and wealth surely favour them.

5. Cowards Die Many Times Before Their Death

Death comes to every man. It is something unavoidable. Therefore we should not be afraid of it. The path of life is paved with difficulties. A man has to face several misfortunes in the course of his life. A coward becomes nervous in the face of every danger. He is overawed by the imaginary fear of death. A little trouble in life throws his mind off its
hinges. He lives in constant fear of death. His life is a constant punishment to him as he dies every minute. Thus he dies thousands of times before his death. As against this, there is the brave man. He keeps smiling under all circumstances. He knows that the moment of death is fixed. It must come. There is no running away from death. Browning in his poem ‘Prospice’ expressed his wish to die fighting with death. He was a brave man. He was not at all afraid life. A brave man delights in facing dangers boldly. Thus he saves himself from the agony of the fear of death. He rather challenges death. He knows that if the worse comes to
the worst, he may die. His spirit will always remain unconquerable. It is this conviction that makes his life worth emulating.

4. Failures Are the Pillars of Success

It is human nature to feel depressed at failures and to feel very glad over success. The above quotation says that we should not feel disappointed over a failure. Our attitude should be to learn the causes that have led to our failure. It is at this time that we need to have a calm mind to study the reasons of our failure. In future we should avoid these pitfalls. Lessons
learnt from our failure can thus prepare the way for success. In fact only that person fails who gives up the effort after some setback. We should regard our failure as lesson-giving. We should not become slack in our efforts. Failures, as a matter of fact, should make our resolve stronger to achieve success. Failures are actually a touch-stone of our courage and
efforts. Actually a man should be like his tea ; his real strength being known when put into hot water. We must discipline ourselves to learn some lesson from our failure.

3. The Child is Father of the Man

This line has been taken from Wordsworth who was a great poet of Nature. Wordsworth loved nature in his childhood. He continued to love nature even in his old age. By this quotation Wordsworth means to say that childhood is the nursery of the future man. Impressions received in early life have a lasting influence on the future life of man. Just as the morning shows the Jay, in the same way childhood shows the type of man one would be. The grown up personality of man is found in the seed form in his childhood. If we have good habits in childhood, we shall grow up to be noble men. A child given to lying or gambling or pickpocketing will become a big liar or a thief when he becomes a man. Thus childhood is the formative period of the life of man. Therefore the instincts and impulses of childhood must be areat and noble if one is to be great and noble in manhood. It is in this sense that the child is rather of the man.

2.Charity Begins at Home

This proverb contains a good deal of truth. A man’s first duty is to help the members of his own family. Our near and dear ones share our sorrows and take delight in our joys. The parents spare no effort in providing comforts of life to their children. A mother’s sacrifice for her children is proverbial. She keeps the child warm even when it is very cold. Our near and dear ones stand by us when we are in trouble. Blood is always thicker than water. It is common knowledge that we often help our friends and relatives. Such an outlook is however based on selfishness. It tends to make us narrow-minded. If we believe too much in the principle “Charity begins at home” we are likely to ignore another man’s merit. Merit is the first casualty when a person is governed by this principle. We should think that all men are children of the same father, God. As such we should be generous to others. We must lend help to the deserving cases and not only to those who are our kith and kin. But it is a hard fact that we are willing to do something for our kith and kin but we are indifferent to the interests of those around us.

1. Make Hay while the Sun Shines

This quotation means that we should not let an opportunity slip through our fingers. In the understanding of this principle lies the secret of success in life. The ant is a hardworking insect. It collects corn for the rainy days. The cricket makes merry when it should work. So, it suffers. In cold countries like England farmers try to take the fullest advantage of the sunshine. The sun shines rarely there. When the sun shines they dry the grass in it. Then they keep it to be used as fodder for their cattle. Thus they do not have to face trouble in feeding their cattle. We must know that future is uncertain. We should not have rosy dreams of the future if we are not capable of taking advantage of the available opportunities. We must realise that time once lost cannot be recalled. We must not waste the present time. Youth is a period when we have energy in our body. We should not waste this golden period of our life in staying idle. We should spend this time in earning and learning.