Whenever we face a problem, we try to remove the symptoms, not the actual cause. For this reason, our miseries only multiply. If a child is crying of hunger, you may be able to make him happy by giving him a toy. But when the hunger increases, he will cry again, 10 times as hard. He will stop only when his hunger is gone. We need to try to solve problems by understanding their causes. Most of the time, our so-called ‘solutions’ are only future problems in the making.
A printing-press worker had three-fourths of his hand cut off by a paper-cutting machine. The doctor who stitched up the hand consoled him, “You’re lucky it was your left hand that got cut. Had it been the right hand, it would have been disastrous.” The worker replied, “That’s due to my brilliance, doctor. When I saw the blade was about to come down on my right hand, I immediately yanked it away and inserted my left hand in its place!”
This is what often happens in our lives. In solving one problem, we are creating a new one. It doesn’t have to be like this. We need to find the root cause and address it directly.We are not isolated islands. We are all links in a chain. We cannot wait for others to change. We should be prepared to change first. In this way, we can transform society.
Once there was a village in the middle of a forest. In that village, there were no street lights. Because of this, the number of murders and robberies increased. The villagers went to the police and asked them to install street lights, but nothing was done. The crime rate continued to grow. Then, one day one of the villagers got an idea: Why not light a lamp and hang it out on the verandah. At least this would illumine that small area, he thought. So, he did it. Seeing this, his neighbours followed suit. Eventually, the entire village was illumined at night. Murder and theft soon ended. The good deed of one individual set into motion the transformation of the entire village.
The root cause of war and terrorism we see everywhere is the conflict within individual minds. We have to bring about a change in the minds of the individuals. When the individual minds are transformed, society will transform. A community is comprised of individuals. It is the conflict in our minds that manifests externally as war.
When a transformation takes place in the human mind, then society changes automatically. We should try to cultivate love and peace in our hearts. The effort to do so must be there on our part. We spend millions on the military and defence. When it comes to war, we have such intensity and focus. Why don’t we put just a fraction of that money and effort towards creating world peace?
For defence purposes every nation has a huge budget. Security is essential. But the greatest security comes through implementing spiritual values in our lives. If we want to confront the internal enemy, we have to find and wield an internal weapon.