People may respond to us with indifference, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t making a difference
When we do something good for someone but they don’t appreciate it, that can easily dishearten us. If we are health care professionals who provide people data, warnings and resources to deal with a deadly pandemic, those people might dismiss our efforts as mere interference. Still, we need to continue our efforts because they will make a difference to those who will listen to them — and as things become more serious, more people will listen. Even if one life is saved when we try to help thousands, that is a significant success.
The same principle holds true when we try to share spiritual wisdom among people who live materialistically. The Bhagavad-gita (13.09) urges us all to see with unflinching clear-headedness the impending disasters of old age, disease, death and rebirth. Such contemplation will inspire us to start exploring life’s spiritual dimension seriously and thereby focus on nourishing our spiritual core that is beyond these material disasters.
Unfortunately, when we start sharing spiritual wisdom, many people respond to us with indifference; they are too materially infatuated to perceive spiritual truths (02.44). But we can’t let that need alone determine our actions. We need to let Gita wisdom be our driving motivation and recognize that the principles and practices for raising our consciousness to the spiritual level will make a difference — to the few who listen and to at least us if we understand and apply those principles ourselves. The Gita cautions that spiritualists need to be ready to stand different from materialists — and that difference can be as stark as the difference between day and night (02.69).
By anticipating indifference to our efforts to make a difference, we can be better prepared to persevere and thereby keep making a difference.
Think it over:
- Why may people respond to us with indifference?
- How can we avoid becoming disheartened by people’s indifference?
- Have your spiritual efforts made a difference?
02.69: What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage.
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