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A monk appeared at entrance of house. The lady thought, the monk should return happily from her doorstep in the New Year. She went inside; and as she was about to pour sweet rice into the container of the monk, she found it already half-filled with debris. Baffled, she held back her hand. “I cannot put it in the dirty container,” she declared firmly. “Do it nevertheless,” the monk insisted. The lady took the container, cleaned it well, and then poured the delicious stuff in it.

By same analogy, one can feed one’s mind with virtuous and positive thoughts only after space has been created by eliminating the unwanted and retrograde ideas and prejudices. Opinions based on heresy or unsound perceptions are hard to weed out. Once harboured, they have tendency to settle down, take deep roots, hide in recesses of psyche and proliferate, like cancer cells do. Yet for superior outcomes in life, they must be countered.

Each of us has is a bundle of virtues & vices, values and habits to varying degrees. Some of these are hereditary, while most we acquire in the passage of life. This depends on our discretion and conscious choices. One of mediocre calibre finds it difficult to repudiate the values and morals, howsoever nonsensical, in which he has been programmed to believe since birth. With growing years we are enabled to identify and recognise which attributes are in sync with our mettle and shall allow us to discharge the specific role meant for us.

The best part of the value system we follow and the habits we have cultivated is, these are modifiable, sooner the better. One can change for the better at later stages of life and start living truly if the commitment is of high order, and spirit within aflame. We are not on earth to acquire just a bungalow equipped with comforts, premium vehicle and dining in five stars. Feeding and protecting oneself and our offspring is something creatures of lower order like cockroaches, frogs, rats etc. do admirably. Not all values, beliefs and habits espoused lead to realisation of the vision and one has to unlearn a lot. “Every day you must unlearn the ways that hold you back. You must rid yourself of negativity, so you can learn to fly” said Leon Brown.

Due to lack of judiciousness in dropping what is irrelevant most people are disabled of sorts to lead a happy, healthy and meaningful life. Absence of a concrete vision, over thinking, nagging attitude or ingratitude whether inherited or acquired seriously impinge on the quality of life. Where we land is determined by our vision, aspirations, strength of commitment and action plan. It is often taken for granted that errors of omission or commission cannot be rectified.Turn of calendar in New Year triggers us to review the real gains in life, the type and drift of beliefs we have been holding and start acting afresh. 

After detecting the fault lines, we can undertake mid-course corrections and reset the thrust areas and the modalities, wherever required, for superior outcomes. Do not hang over minor or serious lapses having occurred. Have eye on what next? Remember, the chairman’s pencil also has eraser on it. Admit the errors, lapses and inadequacies squarely. You shall be cleansed inI8ternally and these are not likely to be repeated. It is never too late to start weeding and let fresh air in. 

Harish Barthwal


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