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134ste Spiritmail


By Karmayogi

We are rarely self-conscious. When we have to make a public appearance and that makes us uncomfortable, we are self-conscious while we are on the dais. We call it shyness. In our own house, we act naturally. In another house, we are conscious of everything we do. That is described as being self-conscious. Here I should like to use this phrase to explain a certain type of saturated selfishness that assumes that no one else knows about his selfishness and feels he could go scot-free as well as be the unquestioned boss. It is not a rare sight, but also not commonly met with. This type of person is a man who wants the world or family to reward him for exploiting others. It may not be possible for anyone to make him see what he really is, that he is not even self-conscious of his deficiency. Hence I have called it 'unself-consciousness'. In a family of ten children, the eldest daughter was married. There was no property nor income but abundant family support kept the family above want. In everyone there was constant total insecurity but life went on. The second child was more than grown up. He had not passed SSLC, nor qualified for any job. Nor had he any inclination for employment. The rest of the boys - all others are boys - grew up and dropped out of school anywhere between 3rd and 8th standard. One crossed SSLC and was a clerk in the government. The eldest boy had a very rich cousin who was a loafer. Both were chums and seldom were found locally.

By a combination of various favourable circumstances - the initiative of the boys, the interest of the elders, concern of the mother, general good will, etc. - one after the other every one of them became 'settled' in life in petty trades or sundry employment. The energy of the boys made their small vocations boom. One of them heaved a sigh of relief and said to his friend, ‘‘What a relief. All of us have found a vocation. Only the eldest is unsettled.'' The friend who knew the eldest said, ‘‘Maybe he has another view that he has settled all the boys somewhere.'' The other person was intrigued and incensed. During one of the brief visits, the eldest boy came home and announced with pride, ‘‘Now that I have taken care of all of my brothers, they must have sense to maintain what is given.'' Everyone who heard him was outraged, but kept silent. It is a parade of selfishness that parades its shameless exploitation.

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