I know a number of friends who have deep faith and follow highly spiritual philosophies in their daily lives.
I respect them and their commitment to faith. Their commitment to their faith is of the softer variety, and is very personal to each one of these individuals that I have known for many years. They do not carry their faith on their sleeves – there is no proclamation, no evangelizing, not much of a talk except for messages that they are planning to attend some related event.
I also respect folks who apparently do not profess any faith. Not that they do not have faith in anything, but they probably have faith in themselves.
There are many such individuals, who have come to “terms” with themselves, are in perfect sync with themselves, have been able to reconcile differences with society at large, and at the end of the day are in peace with themselves. They also do not harm others intentionally or even unintentionally.
In the first group of folks, there is a full sync with the immediate and extended families and friends’ circles. Most of the people with similar faith congregate together, network together, connect with each other vigorously, see eye-to-eye on most matters, and even eat/travel together. There is a feeling of comfort that, while not unique, provides a sense of togetherness and comfort. There are many such communities, but in keeping with my tradition of not naming specific things to avoid misconceptions and misunderstandings, I leave it for the readers of this blog to derive the meaning of what I am writing about.
In the second group of folks, the sense of community does not exist. The reason for the same is not easy to determine – such people are spread around in the society, and do not publicly proclaim their lack of the “traditional” faith. In circumstances wherein they do so, it is not difficult to visualize their predicament as it is likely that most of the people surrounding him/her are of the first variety described above. Not that such self-faith people will be automatically excommunicated, just that there is a possibility of discomfort developing when the views do not match.
There is a quiet determination in people belonging to the second variety that they made their own lives and directed the circumstances and the environment around them to move ahead in their lives. While this can mostly be true, I discovered (obviously I belong to the second group) that while my hard work, commitment, passion, drive and determination got me to where I am today, the circumstances and environment could not have been “accidental” or directed by me alone.
This is not an insight. It was a learning from a senior friend of mine, who acknowledged respectfully my position, but differed that everything has been done by me in my life. Obviously others have helped me to shape my life, even though I do not think they have been instrumental. But my friend pointed out one critical aspect – things happen positively to those people who work hard (not always though) and they are put into a situation which is conducive to their success. Not always as I only too well know. However, there was some point in what he said. Obviously, there is a bigger force which organizes matters and determines the flow of situations, circumstances and opportunities.
I asked this friend about possibility of reaching a higher set of goals faster, if I could only negotiate with this bigger force. Is there a shortcut to success that could be achieved by praying ? How about I switch over to the first group in the hope of a shorter runway to more material (and spiritual) success ?
My friend said “no” – that is not possible. The bigger force, or the God, does not work that way. If He gives in to such rather mundane requests which would be pouring in by the millions every day, He would not be doing His job. He expects people to work their way through their lives, while holding on to their faith.
My faith still remains on me – may be I need a stronger anchor. I am working on the same. In the meanwhile, this post might have baffled you. I do not wish to offend anyone. This post is more about the deeper inner conversations that each one of us have to have in our journey of life.
30th August 2015