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Social Skills

Saturday August 28 2004 2004 09:24 IST

By Karmayogi

What we know as good manners, the social scientist will term social skills. Manners are the major part of these skills. In today’s atmosphere of public life, these skills acquire a premium. Persuasiveness, presentation, presence of mind, alert attention, agility in movement, observation of others, adjusting to their viewpoint and, finally, accomplishment go with social skills. Manners, character and personality play a very large part in such an achievement. We can witness two extremes. One who is endowed with all the knowledge and strength of character for a certain achievement is unable to enter the field of achievement for want of social skills. Another who has all the aspects of these skills having absolutely no knowledge, fully achieves in spite of being a shallow character. In international meetings, these things are much in evidence.

A single child, for want of company, is unable to learn the basic adjustments in life which are essential in later life. We see boys who have stayed in hostels are better able to mix smoothly in public. Professionals who meet a great number of customers have their angularities smoothened, while bureaucrats behind their desks perform poorly. The rare few have taken to self-education, known as home schooling. Their gain in knowledge is vast. Equally great is their loss in social skills. Even in hostel life, those who are addicted to reading are unable to acquit themselves, while boys gather in number. Life gives us the dictum - you cannot gain in one field without losing in another. In life, this is very much true.

Is this equally true in Spirit? Self-education enables a person to acquire a vast amount of valuable knowledge and valuable information. He comes to value knowledge. The boy or girl gets married. The accumulation of knowledge in one brings about a gap between them. Enormous friction is generated. Vast knowledge, if tapped rightly, becomes a vaster source of marital happiness. Outside it will be a greater social success. For that, one has to convert that knowledge into right social endowments. As there is greater knowledge, conversion is easier, but one has to come up with the right conversion equivalent. Parents who have taken great efforts to educate their child well, must take similar efforts to readjust him to society. Reliance on the Spirit not only enables the conversion, but ensures that the DEFECTS become STRENGTHS. That is the prerogative of the Spirit or the spiritual transformation. One can boldly say that whichever way one approaches the Spirit, he cannot escape great good luck and consequent GRACE. The very best approach is spiritual humility.
 
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