WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD FOR BETTER
By Swami Dr Snehananda Jyoti on 18-05-2017
I can change the world for better if I am willing to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Actually I start this writing after reflection and meditation on the events that took place on one day last week. I drove from the hills of Munnar to Kochi to be at the bedside of someone with severe heart failure in the intensive care unit of a hospital. I went there at the earnest request of his daughter who was flying from Mumbai so she could provide the needed hospital care as well as after discharge care. He was totally alienated from his family including this daughter. The father had written a book about the mistreatment he had received from his family. The daughter was devastated by this book, and told me in conversations how she was terrorized while growing up, and how she and her family suffered mistreatment from him. Obviously both father and daughter had deep hurts. Daughter was grateful that I allowed her father to stay in the ashram for three years. After meeting with the cardiologist, I was present while father and daughter exchanged their thoughts and feelings in the intensive care unit after a long period of estrangement. While I facilitated focusing on the immediate care needed for the father irrespective of what happened in the past or whose version was right, I also tried to help generate hope for constructive future engagement. Both were extremely happy that things worked out well for them. Needless to say, their present was the past that really shut out the present and the future.
Returning from Kochi to Munnar on the same day around 5 p.m., there was a traffic jam caused by a truck laden with logs and a mini-truck trying to pass each other on the Neriamangalam bridge over Periyar river. The bridge was not broad enough, so the vehicles were stuck. Seeing what was happening, I stopped my vehicle before the bridge. One of the drivers was asked to back off the bridge. While backing, the vehicle got on the very wet mud on the shoulder just off the bridge, and was asked to stop before falling off the road and, possibly, into the river. Interestingly impatient drivers from both sides got into the bridge putting everyone’s life in jeopardy. Noteworthy is the fact that not even enlightened self-interest came into play.
The two situations described above occur in one form or other almost daily in my last 11 of years of stay in Kerala. Many people lose their cool and get into verbal and physical violence. The persons causing the problems, needless to say, do not follow their own basic intelligence. We can all fret, fume, and feud and make a bad situation even worse. Each one of us can change the world for better only by being part of the solution.
About The Author
Dr. John K Thekkedam (Swami Snehananda Jyoti) spent most of his life as a clinical psychologist in USA. He began his public life as a Jesuit priest. Quite attracted in distinct philosophies, he left the society and founded 'East West Awakening'.