George Bernard Shaw said, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” If we want to make progress, we must have the courage to find our own faults and then start rectifying them. Those who think that they are absolutely perfect persons, have unfortunately reached a dead end in their inner journey.
It is hardly possible to change others by words. However, there is always room for self-purification not according to any ritual or religion but in the light of humanity. When we become successful in improving in just one aspect of our character, we naturally become living examples of that very quality; and send positive inspirations to others to follow suit. It is rightly said that actions speak louder than words.
The problem arises when our minds get tired and pessimistic. In such an unhealthy condition of mind, we start glorifying the past and labelling the present as totally bad. It is true that we need always to be critical about the present and should find ways for improvement. But it does not mean that we must go backwards. There is no way to deny that things were much uglier during primitive jungle raj, in ancient slave society or in police states than in modern times of welfare states.
“Progress is the attraction that moves humanity”, said Marcus Garvey. When we do not feel that attraction, we, so to speak, stop living. There is a beautiful saying in Bengali, ‘joto din banchi toto din shikhi’ — it means that we learn so long as we live.
A person must always try to be more humane; otherwise it will be like writing his or her own obituary. As the Mother (spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo) said, “The purpose of earthly life is progress. If you stop progressing you will die. Every moment that you spend without progressing is one step closer to your grave.”
Sujit De, Kolkata