Before you sympathize with the physically disabled, or acid attack victims
The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! A child’s fate is majorly decided in the family one is born. Things like money and knowledge can be achieved by hard work, but there are a lot of physical ailments or disabilities that one is born with, or certain tragedies like losing someone in war or being an acid attack victim, which are part of one’s fate. They cannot be overcome by just hard work.
How can one deal with such disabilities or tragedies in one’s life?
Acharya Prashant (AP): You talked of kids being born with physical infirmities and such things. And you present the situation as if it is such a big misfortune to be born with one eye, or a brain disorder, or some genetic defect.
Hidden in your sympathy for the kids who are born genetically deficient, is an arrogance about your own condition.
You feel that you are normal.
You don’t have a hole in the heart, you are not born with half a brain, all your bodily equipment is more or less alright, so you feel that you are greatly privileged.
And in comparison, you feel that if somebody is born with some problem in the heart, or in the intestine, or somewhere in the brain, or in the legs, then he is greatly unfortunate or disadvantaged. In calling him ‘disadvantaged’ do you see that first of all you are calling yourself as ‘advantaged’?
It is only by comparison that you are evoking sympathy for those kids. Do you see that? Otherwise, what is your yardstick? Otherwise, how do you feel sympathetic to them? You are feeling sympathetic towards them only by comparison.
And in comparing yourself with them, first of all, you are calling yourself superior to them. You are saying, “I am superior, they are inferior. Oh! So bad for them. Poor little things!” Right?
That’s the attitude.
So first of all let us first question your superiority, then we will address their inferiority. How superior are you? Alright, a kid might be born with one hand instead of two — one of the arms is missing.