The world doesn’t need people with answers as much as it needs people who are the answers

Stress. Joblessness. Loneliness. Sectarianism. Climate change. Many such grave problems afflict the world. Thoughtful people everywhere are looking for answers. 

Some people believe they have the answers. Based on some thought-system, they think they know how to solve the world’s problems. Even if their answers are right, that’s not enough. Life is not a fill in the blanks exam, where the answer is just a fact to be recollected. Life is an incredibly complex journey to be navigated by making moment-to-moment decisions. Flawed decisions are the root of most of the world’s problems. To help improve our decision-making, the answers are time-tested principles of living. 

Knowing such principles is essential. But that is only a small part of the answer; the big part is learning to apply those principles in the messy world and to therein manage the balance between idealism and realism. Those who haven’t struggled to live their answers often see things in black-and-white terms. Their conviction, being untempered by experience, makes them judgmental even fanatical. Though they have the right answers, their attitude alienates others from those answers; they end up becoming a part of the problem. 

That’s why what the world needs most is not people with answers, but people who are the answers. This doesn’t refer to people who think they are the world’s saviors; savior complex is a problem masquerading as the solution. People with answers refers to people who have learned to embody time-tested principles of living in a judicious way that both improves things and inspires people. The Bhagavad-gita concludes with Arjuna resolving to become such a person (18.73).

If we too learn to better embody the Gita’s principles, we can become an answer. 

Think it over:

  • How can people with answers be a part of the world’s problems?
  • What does being people who are the answers mean and not mean?
  • What one step can you take toward becoming someone who is an answer?

***

18.73 Arjuna said: My dear Krishna, O infallible one, my illusion is now gone. I have regained my memory by Your mercy. I am now firm and free from doubt and am prepared to act according to Your instructions.

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Overlords are meant not to lord it over others, but to lead others over to the Lord
Sincerity can show the path to ability; it can’t substitute for ability
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