“You can never have enough” seems to be what everyone thinks nowadays.
It is a legitimate ambition to covet the latest electronic gadgets, or buy the fastest bikes. It is the ‘in thing’ to wear clothes with international labels, and to go on holidays abroad.
Day in and day out, the models in the advertisements on television sing and dance and brainwash us into thinking that we are ‘nothing’, if we do not buy the products which they are selling. And the list of products which we ‘just have to buy’ keeps getting longer and longer.
It has become so very important to buy the products shown in the advertisements. Particularly if one doesn’t want to be labelled as the ‘uncle’ type, or ‘uncool’!
Why shouldn’t we buy them- if we can afford to, that is. And if we can’t- well then, we’ll just have to find a way to afford to!
And that is where the problem starts.
Youngsters who can’t afford these fashionable products are finding ways to obtain money to buy them.
Incidents of youngsters stealing from relatives or neighbours, take place all too frequently nowadays. There have been cases of people resorting to violence to raise money.
This morning’s newspaper brought the shocking news report about the kidnapping and subsequent killing of a five-year-old boy in Pashan, Pune.
The five-year-old boy — son of a scientist couple working at the DRDO labs in Pashan — was allegedly abducted and later found murdered on Sunday night.
Police have arrested a 19-year-old hotel management student and detained a 15-year-old school boy who hatched the plan for what police described as “quick money”.
Apparently, the 19-year-old wanted money to buy a costly bike, and thought that kidnapping the young boy and then demanding a ransom, would be an easy way of getting it.
The plan went horribly wrong and the boy was killed.
It is difficult not to feel that as a society, we are going terribly wrong somewhere.
Is it really a good thing to want more and more and more?
Perhaps it is time to think less about ‘what’ we want to obtain, and more about ‘how’ we intend to obtain it?
I remember a Subhaashit which goes as follows-
अकृत्वा परसंतापमगत्वा खलमन्दिरम् |
अनुत्सृज्य सतां वर्त्म, यत्स्वल्पमपि तद्बहु ||
Without causing any pain to others [अकृत्वा परसंतापम्],
without going to any wicked person’s house [अगत्वा खलमन्दिरम्] [with a request/ to beg],
without leaving the path of virtuous persons [अनुत्सृज्य सतां वर्त्म],
even whatever little is obtained [यत्स्वल्पमपि] should be considered ample [तद्बहु].
So perhaps this Subhaashit provides the answer to the question of ‘how much is enough?’
Whatever we can get without causing pain to others is- or perhaps it would be better to say, should be– enough!
What do you think?