On being…

…hard hearted.

Came across this quote today

“Nothing has saddened me so much in life as the hardness of heart of educated people” Mahatma Ghandi.

Right. Nice sentiment. But it made me think.

The Aunt and myself had a discussion about personality types. The Cholerics, Phlegmatics, Sanguin and melancholy – at least I think so. She reckons I’m a Choleric. Quick to make decisions, prepared to live with said decisions, but, in life, it’s not such a good trait to have – not when you have to deal with people that are more inclined to prevaricate than to decide.

Anyhow. When I saw this quote this morning, I thought back to our discussion. Note that he mentions educated people. In other words, mostly people like you and me. And yes, there is a certain hard heartedness that happens when you know the probable outcomes of your decisions, based on being educated. When you know that, no matter how much your heart might break, adopting yet another shelter dog on a tight budget just makes no sense. Because everybody suffers from that decision.

That being said, and it’s only one example of what can happen, what if everybody was soft hearted? What would happen if nobody took the responsibility of making a decision and holding to it? What would happen to the world then?

It’s not easy walking away from need. And you don’t always. But often, you have to. There is so much need in the world. And I have often wondered if the carers amongst us have not helped feed that neediness by giving all the help they do.

Take for example a young child. Just learning how to tie his shoe-laces. He’s not quite dexterous enough to do it on his own and if he can, it takes him a while. You must have patience. Not just tie his shoes for him, but wait until he has the hang of it. Otherwise, he will never learn how to do it properly. And will always be dependent on you  to do it for him. Take that analogy and loosely use it with the needy people out there. It’s not exact. There’s much more at stake than just shoe laces, but the principle is the same.

So, Mr Ghandi. You never really worked for a living, did you? You went around the world, being good and kind and soft – a Super calloused, fragile mystic, hexed by halitosis – just a joke I once heard. And you are to be commended for it – for who you were, not the joke :-).

But as soft hearted and good as you were, you would not have had the opportunity to be what you are, had it not been for the heard hearted educated beings on earth. Since they are prepared to take the responsibility. They will live with the consequences of their actions. Making it possible for the rest of them to be what they need to be…

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5 comments on “On being…

  1. I get quite fed up with prophets and mystics sometimes. i.e. to paraphrase two sayings of a particular prophet: “leave your fishing nets (plus your families) to follow me, and you will have eternal life”, or “it’s as hard for a rich man to reach heaven as for a camel to get through the eye of a needle”.
    As you say, Ghia, there are hard-hearted and soft-hearted people of every social status and state of education or non-education. I hate generalisations. And I agree with you that sometimes it is better for a person to stand back and let them help themselves.

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