If we justify our weaknesses by comparing ourselves with those who are weaker, we weaken our motivation to rectify ourselves
Suppose we have a weakness, say, a short temper. Driven by anger, we may speak and do things that we know we shouldn’t. Indeed, anger can subject us to bouts of temporary insanity. After such bouts, we may justify our misbehavior by pointing to those who behave worse: “Everyone gets angry. Why blame me?”
While such an approach may protect our ego, it will endanger our soul. The Bhagavad-gita (16.21) cautions that weaknesses such as lust, anger and greed make our life hellish — they destroy our potential for spirituality. Gita wisdom explains that we are souls, sparks of divinity, who have immense reservoirs of untapped potential. We can be far better than what we are presently, provided we unleash our potential by linking with the supreme spiritual reality, Krishna. When spiritually unleashed, we can manifest godly virtues such as patience, diligence and resilience.
For manifesting such virtues, a primary motivator is our own misbehavior, especially when compared ourselves with the better behavior of others. But when we justify our weaknesses by comparing with those weaker than us, we strip ourselves of that powerful motivator. And we end up multiplying our weaknesses, not rectifying them. Instead of sabotaging ourselves, the Bhagavad-gita (03.21) urges us all to become models that others can emulate for their well-being.
Manifesting our potential is our responsibility to ourselves and to others. It’s our responsibility to ourselves because it is we who will have to live the future we create by our present actions. And it’s our responsibility to others because they will be affected by our actions, given that we live in an interconnected world.
If we take responsibility to unleash our spirituality by taking shelter of the supreme divinity, we will surprise ourselves with how much of a positive difference we can make.
Think it over:
- How does justifying our weakness endanger our soul?
- When we compare ourselves with those weaker than us, how do we demotivate ourselves?
- When dealing with our weaknesses, how can we make a positive difference?
03.21 Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.
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