Dipesh Majumdar

Blog and Paintings

Honesty vs Selfishness, deceit and guile.

First of all let me start with a quote from John Steinbeck - 

The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second. 

That says it all - the quotation dispels lot of confusion and adds a lot of insight to the last couple of topics that I had been writing. My reflection was hovering over this - how much honesty, truthfulness and being good helps - because many a times i see mean people around me who are going about doing their business without the slightest compunction and infact with some degree of success and good productivity. Then what use is this honesty and being right of? Why not throw out of the window and go about doing your daily job like a wily fox. those who have this type of thinking - atleast I have found them very easy to catch - and I have found it difficult to have a good relation with them. I somehow fail to pretend and smile . I am hopelessly blunt and painfully honest - to the extent that I find myself sitting like a sitting duck and can't get up even when someone I see aiming at my head. 

What about mixing both traits - mixing honesty and selfishness. Very difficult - it's like oil and water - they just don't mix. 

Here I must say - honesty does has it's benefit - because it gives a huge amount of strength and power internally.  While selfishness, deceit and meanness simply eats away from within - fills one with subconscious guilt and remorse and renders one very weak and helpless. Well the person going in this way doesn't realize that due to ignorance and lack of awareness - but doesn't mean that such things don't happen. It's very natural and it's hard to beat this divine law of nature. 

Once one marches in the path of falsehood and deceit and all negative characteristics like selfishness, propensity to hurt someone, habitually lying and so on - then he is simply bombarded with corrosive feelings of guilt and compunction. This is an extra load on the soul which one has to fight against,  in the realm of mind - subconscious mainly,  before he starts the real fight in his life. So he is not actually fighting with his full strength as a portion of it has been consumed in overcoming guilt. One shrinks in his own eye. 

Try to visualize another person who is honest and truthful - but inspite of that he is a little cunning as well. He wouldn't blatantly go about displaying his honesty where there is a clear case of loss - and he would play the game tactfully. Just like the way Krishna played the game of Mahabharata, reading and analysing each move and sometimes deviating from accepted norms. He emerged out victorious at last, isn't it. 

Also Krishna was ruthless and disciplined. If he had a plan - he was up to it - fighting to execute it and make others take them seriously. Man management and brain washing - you name it what he didn't know - When Arjuna was groping in the darkness of confusion and madness - he channeled all his energies into the single goal of war - where target was simply - victory over Kauravas. The brainwashing was so powerful that Arjuna had to kill his near and dear ones with tears in his eyes and sometimes using deception and guile. He was convinced that what he was doing was right. 

So honesty, truthfulness is not all that rosy rosy and happy affair. Sometimes the one mastering the art of honesty has to bend his way and adjust to means and goal - sometimes a little twist to ensure that goal is achieved with minimum fuss - and this doens't dilute his level of honesty a single bit. But that's how one has to play the game. 

Needless to say the need to work hard, plan profusely and act endlessly and very fast to ensure all targets are achieved in time. It is this attitude to work hard and not giving in to laziness and procrastination, that would prove to be deadly combination for one to really achieve big.



Go Back