Let’s Be Selfish to Be The Change

Posted on August 20, 2010 in Society

By Rajiv S. Rubdi:

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?”
-Mahatma Gandhi

A few days into the 64th year of independence, it’s time to take a reality check. It’s impossible to find somebody who’s not affected by corruption. [Check out our poll here] Directly or indirectly, we all suffer due to the incapability of people who cannot be honest with themselves (& that also includes us). I’d hate to list out the problems in India today because honestly, the list would be so long that I would run out of patience before I even got half way.

Who is responsible for the current state of affairs? We are! The Babu demands bribe because he knows that we are willing to pay it to get our job done. Seldom do we realize that it’s the taxpayer’s (our) money that changes hands under the table.

Who can bring about a change and make things better? We can! Many of us participated in the Meter Jam campaign on Aug 12 this year. The reason was that we were directly affected by the unruly behavior of auto and taxi drivers. This is it- We did it for selfish reasons-because we were pushed to the limit- because we were tired of hearing “no” from rogues.

Any kind of rebellion should be based on selfish motives. This has been illustrated time and again throughout the course of history. For example, what made the Father of our Nation start a civil disobedience movement in South Africa? Among
other things, the “Trigger Factor” was that, he was thrown out of the train in the middle of the night! And the rest is history, and a damn good part of it! Moreover, if you aren’t selfish enough about yourself, about your people, about your nation, then how can you change things?

We are a selfish race and we’re standing at the precipice. We’ve cured ourselves of amnesia and procrastination. All these years, we’ve not only taken things lying down, we’ve taken them lying upside down! It’s time we realized which issues affect us the most, & worked towards bringing about a change. We could start by refusing to bribe the traffic cop just to avoid being late to office. Or better still, by bringing about a change in our thought process. And this time, let’s not do it for somebody else, or just because somebody else is doing it or has told you to. Let’s do it just for ourselves- for our selfish motives! 🙂

“I have always looked to Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration, because he embodies the kind of transformational change that can be made when ordinary people come together to do extraordinary things.”
-Barack Obama.