Then that society begins to decay. We are a decaying society.
Today, my best friends, and people I respect most, are from every college under the sun. Mostly not from IIT. They are people who made ethical choices, stood by them with integrity and courage, and had dreams far bigger than IIT. Who put justice and society ahead of themselves.
I remember an old friend of mine sometimes. He was native american, and he used to tell me stories of his tribe. Wise and wonderful stories.
When I used to rue that such wisdom had got wiped out by a civilization far inferior, he told me that maybe nothing was wiped out. And that centuries later he was telling me, from a country across the earth, these eternal truths.
That friend is lost in the mists of mine, as many are. But I think truth survives and triumphs in ways we do not always perceive. Gandhi is not assassinated.
We, the well off, lack the courage and integrity to make common cause with the poor in total. At least where we can we can.
Dress simply like them, eat simply like them, eat in eating places that they can also eat in, go to shopping spaces that they can also shop in. At least step by step we can try to reduce the gulf that separates two different worlds in my country.
Yes, and give. Till it hurts.
What is an acceptable ratio in wages for different tasks ? A potter and a programmer for instance. Or a maid and the houseowner ?
When an engineer accepts a salary equal to a farmers - that day there will be enough for everyone's needs. And only on that day.
That day the children of both will go to the same schools, and enrich each others lives. And only on that day.
Till then we can have meetings and say passionate pieces.
To be able to give, to have the heart and courage to give is the greatest gift. It is earned thro' past merit and efforts in this direction. It does not come simply.
The rich are deeply insecure. They only have money. The poor usually have god and a community network and the ability of hard work and a certin confidence that that ability to work gives. I have lived with a poor community very vey long, and know their strengths and my weaknesses only too well.
You need to live in the company of people who have nothing, and give that away to understand what the courage to give means.