One day Parvathi came to me saying, amidst tears, “You know, I fell out with Seetha and lost the only good friend I have”. After consoling her, I asked what was the reason for snapping their friendship which had been a long-standing one, in fact ever since I had known Parvathi.
“Well, it was not anything serious. The only thing was Seetha got offended this time at the comment I made,” Parvathi said without a trace of guilt or remorse, but refused to say what her comment was.
“Was anyone else present when you made your comment,” I asked.
“Well, there were some relatives and friends present. But what difference does that make? Parvathi shot back.
“It makes all the difference,” I said ,knowing how caustic she could be at times. She was one who never believed in speaking anything nice about people, either in their presence or absence .
“But I can’t help it. You know I have this habit of criticising and making personal remarks. Why should Seetha feel offended this time?”
“Parvathi,” I said, “have you ever wondered why you don’t get along with people? You seem to lose all your friends. I have a feeling you revel in picking faults in others and don’t have anything nice to say about people in general. Try changing your attitude by being nice to them and keep your criticism of them to the minimum. See what difference it will make,” I ventured to suggest.
“But then I would have to change quite drastically and mellow down a lot. That’s against my nature,” she said adamantly.
I could understand Parvathi’s plight. All along, I had wondered why books on self-improvement are published by the dozen in western countries and hardly any in our country. Also even the few that are written go unread mainly because we are afraid to do any soul-searching and are reluctant, or averse, to changing our outlook and attitude towards life and people.
It is difficult to come across anyone with no faults, may be our imperfections vary in degrees ,so do our weaknesses and drawbacks, but with a little effort on our part we can reduce them or, better still, overcome them and be accepted for what we become. A change for the better benefits us first before it does the rest . But why don’t we change ? It is certainly a million dollar question.
N Meera Raghavendra Rao