Kindness and generosity are investments of a lifetime, says Rajyogi Brahmakumar Nikunj ji
Goodness is the only investment that never fails, said Henry David Thoreau. If we ponder over this quote, then we may realise that he said it right, because, when we act with kindness, generosity, strength and integrity, it never fails. According to behavioural scientists, when we engage others with an attitude of goodness, we produce the hormone oxytocin, which has been called the hormone of compassion. This is elicited when we bond through the relational qualities that goodness embodies.
Human beings are kinder to each other when they feel safe and secure. However, with the rise of aggression in our culture, the threat of terrorism, the increase of stress in our schools and in our workplace, we find ourselves in a position of fear which creates anxiety, resulting in distorted thinking. These recent changes in our culture have promoted a lack of goodwill towards others and fostered more self-absorption. It seems that today there are no takers for acts of kindness, truthfulness and simplicity. As a result of this, those who do good are often left deserted. On the other hand, the clever and shrewd steal the show.
It’s very sad that the world today is more conducive to those who are manipulative and practical and those who chase rewards than those toiling hard with faith in the return of good actions. In such a scenario then, what is the point of being good in a mad, bad, sad worldIJ Every good anyway gets “lost” as many of us have come to believe. Just like everything becomes dark at night and a lone flower in a thick jungle remains unseen, the little goodness flickering here and there in the world seems to be of no use.
History presents us with innumerable examples of times when the bad seemed to be all pervasive, when powerful conquerors looted and trapped the masses in an undignified life. And yet, from these very masses emerged a small courageous group of awakened people, who led a revolution against injustice and finally turned the tables on their oppressors. But, of course, all acts of goodness do not amount to a revolution, for they do not always aim to blow strong winds of change. But nevertheless, they work like a cool breeze in a hot desert, or a drizzle on a parched land. All of us have had an experience where we had lost all hope in everything and everyone around us. Our faith had worn thin and we thought there was nothing left in life. And then one act of kindness by someone somewhere ignited a ray of hope; it became the last straw that we clung to until the scene changed for the better. So, what we need to understand is that, no goodness is really wasted. It may go unheeded at times and could be overpowered by negative forces, but is never wasted, for sure.
We all know the story of the little bird that filled her beak with water from a pond and headed for the woods that were on fire. While she was at it, a spectator asked the tiny creature what was the point of her efforts, for the small droplets would not douse the huge flames. She quipped, “When I die, and my life’s record is being read out, my name will appear in the list of those who tried to put out the flames, and not among those who sparked it or did nothing about it.” We must remember that there is a law of cause and effect that guides every act in the universe. And what a person does unto anyone, he does unto himself. So, while a negative action piles debt on a person, a positive act is an investment for a good future. And unless one has unshakeable faith in the sanctity of this law, one would be forced to succumb to the prevailing hostile environment.
If goodness can survive through troubled times, it can be sure to bloom fully when favourable circumstances arrive. So an honest person must hold on to his virtue with courage and patience in testing times. He must empower himself with the unflinching hope that as night is followed by day, better times will inevitably follow. It is just a matter of time before the clouds give way to clearer skies. So, keep the faith until the new day arrives.