Newspaper stories these days are depressing. Reading them, we realise that humans are still where they were in the stone age days. Psychologists rightly conclude that you can take the man out of Stone Age but you cannot take Stone Age out of man. Progress does not seem to be the law of life as said by Robert Browning. How long will man take to become man? Why we, the humans, are still not graduating into humans. While the stories of barbarism, aggression and violence of the present times are as distressing as of the past, our claims of being a civilised society appears hollow. We need to ponder why despite so much of knowledge and education, propositions of devilish nature still remain attractive. The animal in man fails to change. The lessons that we were taught have hardly made any impact in those few thousand odd years we have been learning them. Lessons on morality and ethics just remain a subject for essay writing as people seem to believe that honesty is not the best policy. Lying is a sin, greed is the root cause of all evil and pride comes before a fall are all cliches that makes little sense. Everyday people see people dying yet they want to live till eternity. And this desire is behind most problems as people indulge in all kinds of deeds and misdeeds to seek unreasonable security. Security that would make them survive even if the whole world perishes. No one wants to believe that permanence is an illusory goal in this transient world. In fact this question was rather very succinctly dealt with in the famous Yaksha-Yudhishthira dialogue in the Vana Parva of the Mahabharata while the Pandavas were in exile. When Dharmaraj posing as Yaksha asks Yudhishthira what is the greatest surprise, the reply that the senior Pandava gave explains the greatest paradox of human life. Yudhishthira says that the greatest surprise in this world is that though human beings are mortal and see people dying everyday yet they think they will not die. This desire is what perpetuates evil in this world. The main cause of this desire is the ego that gives all sorts of false pretensions to human beings. It makes a millionaire crave to become a billionaire and a billionaire aspiring for becoming a trillionaire. Resorting to all kinds of dirty tricks to fulfil their dreams people ultimately catch up with their nemesis as providence spares none. Even the Corona pandemic failed to dampen the spirits of those people who fail to realise that the last journey has to be performed free from all encumbrances as life is a zero balance account. This piece is not intended to paint a scary picture but to make realise that in the end it is the goodness that prevails. There is need to find out an approach to help make this world a better place to live for all. To create a new kind of movement to change mankind to become what he was destined to become — the most glorious of all the creations of nature. To become the man whom God created in his own image. Awakening the soul should be the idea behind the goodness movement. And this can be done by applying the same tools that marketers use to create a consumer movement. Man essentially wants to be good but he should understand what good being good is. This is what is required.
Pathak is a professor of management, writer, and an acclaimed public speaker. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org