Principles of Life

Narrow-Mindedness

According to La Rochefoucauld: “Mediocre spirits generally condemn everything that exceeds their small stature.” Perceiving this common human failing, a modern poet implores people: “Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.”

The trouble is, people tend to judge matters on how they affect their own selves. They are quick to support anything, which improves their own position, or at least does not downgrade them in any way. But when something appears threatening to their own position, they oppose it, regardless of its intrinsic worth.

A Shaft of Light

The owner of a transport business once found himself in weak and vulnerable position because, for technical reasons, he had once had one of his vehicles registered in the name of another person. Several years passed, and that person still held its license. The licence-holder decided one fine day that he would take possession of the vehicle himself, and that its real owner would have to make do with a paltry sum of money in exchange. The owner naturally felt that the most dreadful injustice was being done to him and, greatly incensed, he was determined to have his revenge.

Concentration

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) one of most famous thinkers of modern times, (although the writer does not agree with his views) played a major part in the intellectual formation of modern man.

Darwin achieved this position of eminence in the modern world by dint of exceptional hard work. The Encyclopaedia Britannica (1984) says of him:

“All his mental energy was focused on his subject and that was why poetry, pictures and music ceased in his mature life to afford him the pleasure that they had given him in his earlier days.” (5/495)

Try, Try, Try Again

A young man who was employed as an ordinary worker in a Bidi factory soon learnt the entire art of the business and set up his own factory. He initially invested only Rs. 5000 in his business, but then by dint of fifteen years’ hard work, his business progressively increased until it expanded into a big factory. One day, narrating his life story to his friends, he said: “Just as a young child grows into boyhood after fifteen years, so does a business. I have not reached this stage in one day. It has been a fifteen-year struggle.”