Theme of the week

Issue XI (17.04.2011)

Match Your Virtues with Your Roles

A group of students forcibly entered into the examination hall of a university’s administrative block. The rule was that students should do all interactions from the window. In spite of a lot of request as well as admonishment from the staff, the students refused to leave the examination hall and created nuisance.

The section staff then requested the Officer on Special Duty (OSD), Shri R. Bhanawat, who is a senior IAS officer, to handle the situation. He went there and coolly observed the situation. He then plainly requested the students to come outside. At this, a boy who was standing in the front said very arrogantly, “Perhaps you did not recognize me.” Shri Bhanawat was amused at this boy’s response and said smilingly, “Of Course, I did not recognize you. But I can surely see from your face that you belong to a nice family.”

At this, the boy felt embarrassed, bowed his head and simply walked off from the examination hall. Other students also followed him.

This is a real incident. It reflects that by consciously using our patience and a deep faith in the goodness of others, we can easily mould others towards positive actions. Every human being is bestowed with certain qualities and virtues. At the same time everyone plays certain roles in professional and social life. What we need to do is to consciously match our virtues with our various roles.

Generally we express our positive qualities in those roles which are dear to us and expose our weaker self or negative emotions in those roles which we do not value much. This is the root cause of our sufferings. A human being is put in different roles so that he or she can explore the deeper virtues bestowed upon him or her by nature. Tolerance, courage, patience, vision, creativity, compassion, etc. are some such virtues. The mistake which we generally do is that in each role we expect from others. When we do not get what we want, we react. This keeps us away from exercising the virtues of tolerance, patience and forgiveness. We have been given these qualities so that we can be closer to divinity and experience the divine freedom and power.

If we express our best part in all our important roles, it saves time and energy and the speed of work also increases. Reaction consumes our present while proactive steps taken with patience prepare us for future. This in the long run increases health, level of happiness, prosperity and our social status.

Instead of waiting for the destiny to take a turn or waiting for others’ support, therefore, we should simply decide to explore and match our virtues with our present and future roles and responsibilities to lead a happy and successful life.

The reason why Albert Einstein became so great was perhaps because he always thought of his role and not about what he wanted to get from life as he once expressed:

“Strange is our situation here upon this earth. Each one of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why.

From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know that we are here for the sake of others ---- for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy.

Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labours of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.”

-Albert Einstein

 Read the following:

  1. A manager who is very creative and ambitious always feels irritated with his subordinates. His complaint is that they do not cooperate with him. If you were the manager what you would do?
  2. An engineer (32 years of age) is very sharp technically. He has grudges against his parents who never gave him an opportunity to study in convent schools. Now he feels problem in communicating in English with his colleagues and seniors. If you were the engineer what would be your approach?
  3. A lady struggles a lot to give a good future to her children. At the age of 50, she falls sick and expects a lot of support from her grown up children. The children on the other hand are used to getting everything done by the mother and now feel confused. If you were the mother, how would you have handled the situation?


While searching the solution of above problems you can easily conclude how hardships in various roles help us in discovering our deeply hidden qualities. Don’t you think that by exercising patience, by inspiring others and contributing in others’ life, by solving problems creatively instead of blaming others, we constantly add to our own value and also make our family stronger and more respectable?

Above all we are able to deeply respect ourselves with the idea that we are really virtuous. Don’t you think this is what we ultimately want?

Instead of getting hurt, the better policy in life is to thank all those who test our patience and demand us to be strong internally! They are only a channel. The journey of exploring our deeper virtues and matching them with our roles starts with us and ends with us.

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