Keeping Quiet

I am reading this very interesting book, The Difficulty of Being Good by Gurcharan Das. He talks about different characters in The Mahabharata and their characteristics. It is very easy to relate to most of them because human nature just does not change. What was true thousands of years ago is true for the present ages too.

In one of the chapters the author writes about the scene where Draupadi is being humiliated and everyone keeps quiet. No one has the courage to speak out against the wrong doing. Then, after quite some time, Vidura speaks out and quotes the sage Kashyapa about the immorality of remaining silent when there is evil afoot – ‘ the leader of the conspiracy earns half the penalty, the immediate culprit a quarter and the witnesses who do not speak are also guilty of a quarter.

Reading this many incidents came to mind. People keep quiet because they do not want any unpleasantness. Many shut their eyes as if to state they have not witnessed the wrong. For many it is just not their business. Most of us cannot speak out or fight against all that is wrong in the world. But we can, against small matters within the sphere of our life. When we keep quiet we are giving the other person a power over us. It sends out a message that we are ready to be bullied. Most of the time we are responsible for what happens in our life and blaming others is just our shortcoming.

But in countless instances people are so helpless. They are totally under the control of other people. Their life is not their own. That is heart-rending; the feeling of helplessness and the belief there is no one to help them. They are forced to keep quiet, they have no choice.

“The man of power is ruined by power, the man of money by money, the submissive man by subservience, the pleasure seeker by pleasure.”
Hermann Hesse

keeping quiet

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By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. I used to go to the Home for the Mentally challenged in our campus twice a week. I have been going there since 2011. The members are an important part of my life. Covid-19 has made it difficult for me to go there regularly. Hopefully I will be able to go there again. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made life so much more richer.