Recently I went to a function of a college when Vice chancellor of that university announced a 4 year grant for a very poor student. The ecstatic student went up to the VC at the end of the function and said “You are the best person who I have come across in my whole life”. And I agreed. But I was the same person who really was upset when the same grant was not given to a poor student known to our family for years.

I have contradicted myself in so many situations and for over so many years.I have come to ask myself a question..what defines a good act and a bad act?I have aften found myself weighing that any act of mine was good or was that bad? We all at some point we all percieve things as good or bad.Our basic problem is that we seek clarity between the good and the bad.Whereas if we see both rely on their own contexts.Although I think a lot on these lines still but this does not deter me from doing what is generally thought of correct in the worldly context. I just question it whenever I get stuck in a “think or throw” type of thought. In moments where I dont know if I should forgive a person or be forgiven? There is a small story by a famous visionary which helps me. It goes like :

In a faraway small village, there lived a bunch of conservative families where falling in love and getting married was a stigma. There lived a carpenter who had a docile girl.She got married with the consent of her parents and invited the whole village for the extravagant wedding. The wedding had various delicacies and everybody was given a box of sweets that was the main attraction . For months villagers remembered that ‘box of sweets’ that was given with so much benevolence. On the contrary , one night a barber’s daughter from the same village eloped with a guy from a nearby village and left a goodbye letter for her parents.None knew that where she eloped.There was no wedding, no villagers were invited and hence ‘no box of sweets’ were given as the girl just eloped. Few months later both the girls in separate incidences fought with thier respective husbands and came back home to live with their parents. Villagers supported the carpenters daughter and poured all their love to her as compared to barbers daughter and bad mouthed her.For the villagers, carpenters daughter was good and barbers daughter was bad and they asked her to leave the village. Howsoever upset barber was with her daughter, he still disliked the villagers descision. The King of the village was approached to give the descision as to who was right and who was wrong? After listening carefully, the king gave his verdict and that was :

“The difference between good and bad is only ‘a box of sweets’ that was given for the carpenters daughter wedding and that could not happen for the barber’s daughter wedding because she eloped”.

This story will stay with me forever and will guide me when my mind becomes full of expectations and my demands become unnecessary, when I am driven to believe that I am good and such an such person is bad. I will just think ‘there lies a context that I may not see, but exists still”.

16 thoughts on “The difference between good and bad !

  1. This is so correct.We seldom pay attention to “box of sweets” that define our judgement.You are a prolific writer and a thinker. You inspired me so much.

  2. I am in a middle of a morning meeting and this post came on my Blackberry.Guess what ?? I read it with all focus and had to rush out to write my comment. I love it.This has brought smile to my face and I will go by it. Your post has so much of enlightenment whether it is technology, brand or life.Love your blog.Keep blogging.

    1. I am glad that you loved it.I live by large number of short stories by some people I believe in.I somehow feel that clinging on to these stories help me gain an insight! Now you must switch off your BB.Lol!

  3. This is “Chicken soup for the soul”..really :)….so true that some small incidents in life stay with us and actually shape our character…i would like to share one with you dear. My youngest bro and his friend were very very naughty at 13-14 yrs age and would not concentrate on studies. There tuition teacher would beat the hell out of them and they would laugh!!!!. I was given this task of being strict with them and make them study.

    So i did that and threw my bro’s notebook saying “what crap is this” and there it was…a small tear at the corner of his eye!!! I was heartbroken…and even today it drives me to believe that there are always better ways to get through people …just try harder :).

    Keep writing!!

    1. I loved your comment.We really have been so busy in the practical lives that probably we cannot stop and look at the world around and ourselves for that matter.But looking inwards is so important for our professional and personal growth I have come to know.Recently I read Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, and even Mr Jobs believed that looking inwards and attimes doing business with intuition is so imperative.I loved your story.There are always alternate pathways that we all can take in behaving with others and ourselves too…love your comment Geetika!

  4. Once again you have proven that you have a deep insight and understanding of values. I loved the way you have tried to portray your beliefs with the help of a story. I think the summary of this post goes hand-in-hand with the quote by someone “People only see what they are prepared to see.”…keep blogging… are so good at it..:)

    1. Sonali, simple loved your quote “People only see what they are prepared to see”..yes it is. I was touched to read ‘first line of your comment’. Life can be crazy,we were given minds so we can apply and move forward.You have added a dimension to this post.With each comment my post becomes more insightful.

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. Another perspective on the box of sweets is that if people feel someone has rejected them, they might tend to want to reject that person. If people feel they have been treated well by someone, they might tend to treat the person well in return. It’s an interesting perspective to reduce it down to a box of sweets.


    1. Hey Tim,
      It was a delight to read your blog.Yes, I agree with your views and that is exactly what I wanted to convey. That is how we will find help for ourselves when we just reduce it down to something like “box of sweets” and just move on..

  6. We try to define life in ‘black or white’, ‘Good or evil’, ‘Right or wrong’ ‘Ram or Ravan’ ‘God or satan’!

    This polority is to ease the mental labor!

    In the process of defining two poles, we ignore the middle area…The gray area.

    The whole system is like a pendulum which swings between the two poles…between Black & white and the transitional path is the gray area… which actually is the life!!

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