I read this story on a blog and was really touched. Hence I thought of sharing it with all the readers out here. There was a man about more than hundred years ago. One day when he read the newspaper, he found his name in the obituary column, one wherein a notice of a particular person’s death is printed along with a short biography or a brief introduction about that person.
That person who was alive at that moment was reading his own introduction in that column and was shocked for a moment. The newspaper had mistakenly published his name in that section. He went on to read the views that the paper had printed for him. It read “The merchant of death is dead”. These lines changed his outlook of life.
This man was Alfred Nobel, the inventor of the Nobel Prize. Alfred Nobel spent his life mainly as an inventor of explosives. He was a scientist, one who invented the dynamite, an explosive which we use today. It was his invention which gave this world a number of other explosives being used today. This is the reason that the newspaper mentioned him or rather criticized him as “the merchant of death”. This incident propelled him into the thought process where he asked himself a question “Is this what I want myself to be remembered as after my death?” This incident triggered a change in him since that day. It was he who invented the Nobel Prizes to be awarded to those great figures who have contributed to the upliftment of the society in the field of Physics, Arts, Literature, and Peace and many others.
The question which Alfred Nobel asked himself applies to all of us including me. Life is really short and we all will have to accept the fact that most of us here today spend our life without any specific motive or an idea or a belief. We might argue that we have many goals set for ourselves. We would want to achieve success in our jobs and in our family lives and in the society. But is this it! Is this life in the true sense? There has to be something more to it. If we are ready to hear and accept the truth and if we really understand our own self then we will realize that we really are not doing something for which the world will remember us for our virtues.
I am talking about the majority of the people here. There are people who are exception to this and have taken a step to make a difference. These are some of the emotions that rule most of ours world today: Anger, hatred, attachment and aversion, false-pride, desire for material wealth.
Our entire life passes away living one or the other of the above emotions. We can ask one question to ourselves. When a person whose life was ruled by these emotions passes away, we remember him for these negative attributes of his. Then how do we expect the world to remember us for something good especially when our own lives are ruled by the same attributes.
This should be the moment when we rise up to bring about a change within us. Eradicating these negative emotions, we all need to make room for love, compassion, truth and fearlessness. We need to imbibe these values within us to help the society walk on the same path. We have a number of such examples of people who are being remembered for these values of theirs which they taught this society. As I have always said that despite many evils in this society, there are always some exceptions that are ready to go against the tides to bring about a change.
Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda, Mother Teresa, Rabindranath Tagore are some of those great individuals who taught the society the values of love, care and truth. Their values today are not only beneficial for one to lead a meaningful life, but also applies to the field of business, politics, religion and that every aspect that is related to the society and its individuals.
To become one of these, we need to make sure that every incident and every moment of our life passes away teaching us something valuable which we can not only imbibe in ourselves but its implementation in us motivates others to walk towards that change. In every action, we must ask our self the following questions:
No doubt that someone who does not want to put aside his/her ego will come up with different answers to these questions. But if we are someone who is craving for truth every moment, then we will somehow find the correct answers to these questions. These are some of those questions which will help us analyze or introspect our actions in day-to-day activities.
Change is not something that can happen overnight. There will be different situations where you will have to deal with different people and accordingly you will have to search for the answers to the above questions. And only once we bring about that change in ourselves, then we have the right to teach this society or pass on that knowledge because
To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest