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309. The Honesty of Servants

When we go to new places or another country, we notice many things that are striking. A young man who returned from a tour of Kerala said that what was striking to him was the cleanliness. A French lady described the streets of Pondicherry as a public urinal. Kerala is always known for her cleanliness. People from Kerala personally keep themselves very clean. A Malayalee family came to Pondicherry for employment. The lady one day came out of the bathroom and found her watch missing, and her purse too was not found. Everyone to whom she complained said, "No, no, it is not permissible that you leave them on the table. There are servants at home." She replied, "That is how we are back in Kerala." There the servants do not steal. Here to find trustworthy servants is an exception, not the rule.

A cultural value seeps down to the least of men. For instance every one takes bath here in India whereas that may not be a widespread practice in all countries. Americans visiting Holland were surprised that most people they met with were not graduates. The percentage of college going population in USA is at least 20 % higher than in Holland. An American professor said during a conversation that on the day of his father's death he left the body at home and went to college to take his classes. Such a thing is inconceivable in India or in many other countries. There are certain communities where you will not find a single poor man. If one falls low, the entire community comes forward to help him rise. The values found in the least of men and women can be considered the values of a nation or a place or a community.

A few hundred years ago travellers declared that they had never met anyone in India who lied. That was a GOLDEN AGE. How are we different now than two hundred years ago? Can we not go back to that laudable state? The Indian SPIRIT will emerge in full splendour to saturate the population with abundance and opulence, throw up GENIUSES by the dozen and allow India to hold her head aloft if we, as a nation, go back to truthfulness, honesty, etc. Is it too much for us to train our children in utter truthfulness? Can we not espouse TRUTH in all its versions and variations as the ONE desirable value of life?

story | by Dr. Radut