Talk the walk!

That’s right!  We’ve been used to hearing and reading about it the other way around.  ‘Walk the talk!’ is the constant refrain for leadership.  You should ‘do as you say, practice what you preach’.

I’ve found that while the (almost cliched) saying “Walk the Talk” works fine for those situations where we may benefit from it, there’s the flip saying also which is very effective in growing and spreading a greater understanding.  Most people don’t give a second thought to whether what they are saying is true about themselves.  This may be fine as long as you ascribe the authorship of what you say to someone else, someone greater than yourself, but why do we treat what we say as separate from our own behavior?

You may be very sincerely giving advice to another from the storehouse of quotations you carry in your mind.  In such a scenario you are the medium through which someone (the author’s) else’s learning is finding new ears.  It doesn’t make any difference to how you may be.  Or at least it gives you the liberty of some time before people may expect you to follow what you have said, to demonstrate in action the same wise words.  So let’s consider another approach.  An approach to changing yourself for the better forever.

Let’s say you hold yourself very responsible for saying something that you do not practice.  In such a case, out of a sense of integrity, you would diligently also mention that these words have been said by so and so.  Lets also assume that you don’t want to have to keep remembering what other people have said simply to share them with others, but you use them more to make a difference to who you are.  In such a scenario, one very simple thing to do is to only share what you do, and how you yourself are. 

Choose to only share those aspects or facts that you have already worked upon, and the changes you have already caused with them. Make sure you always have something  new to talk about.  With this approach, it follows that you will first practice differently, analyze the results for yourself, and then talk about the successes, the lessons.  If you are trying out new ways of doing things, of being yourself, you will always have many lessons to talk about.

When you talk from personal experience, and from the rewards that you yourself have reaped, it becomes something far more engaging and valuable.  Such conversations have far reaching depths, and impact that may just be the change that was needed. It’s our integrity with ourselves. It’s living personal integrity as alignment between what we think, believe, say, and do.

— O —

Why does our faith have to be blind?

We hear stories every day of so-called Godmen, Spiritual Masters, Gurus, and Healers taking people for a ride. Why do we blame the Godman? Why do we blame these spiritual scamsters? Why look for the mistakes of one person, and turn a blind eye to the one mistake of thousands, including our own?  Just think about it.

It is WE who give them the opportunity to take us for a ride. Our blind faith is what makes them what they are.  As soon as they realize our stupidity, they can justify the ‘rewards’ they take for their smartness.  Their arrogance and liberties grows by leaps and bounds, knowing that their ‘flock’ will stay stupid because they will keep it so.

Think!

Why does our faith have to be blind? Why can’t we be mindful? Do we not have minds? Do we not have brains? Or are we just cattle, following the herd.  Any faith that calls for blind obeisance is a cult, mind you.

Let’s be mindful of what we invest our faith in. Everyone is not worthy of being respected just because they say something we do not understand.  Just as important it is for the guru to choose the disciple, it is important for the disciple to choose the guru. Even our scriptures advise us to do our own research and be mindful of our own experience before believing anything.

This is not a trivial matter.  It is one ailment with far-reaching consequences for the nation and each one of us, and the generations that follow! 

— O —

How exhausting is consumption?

Much of our time is being spent these days in consuming from screens, the small or the bigger ones. First it was the news that we were all consumed with, watching numbers dance up for every part of the world. Then, as we became weary of that and the numbers increasingly numbed us, showed us that they would grow regardless of anything the world did, we started looking for more other content we could consume. We continued being more exhausted with doing nothing but consume.

The other day it occurred to me that it is consumption that we are all engaged in. We’re consuming our environment, which is not changing.  We’re consuming content, entertainment, whatever.  We are consuming, and that too passively.  It is our inability to create that may actually be exhausting us.

We’re feeling exhausted because we’re not creating, not expressing ourselves. We have to create. We have to create whether we write, whether we paint, whether we compose, whether we draw, weather we speak, whether we walk. We have to create our journey, not just consume and be consumed.

— O —