This was a major achievement. By taking this step, the young man was declaring his vulnerability and confessing his need. I then suggested he express this humbly to his team leader. And much to his surprise, the team leader was sensitive to his needs and immediately rectified himself. All the while, the leader had been thinking that his subordinate was content to stay in the background, not wanting any glory. When the junior confessed his need, the leader, being a gentleman, was forthcoming and presented the junior as a key team player. The relationship that was filled with silent, cold signals, now opened up with positive possibilities. They have since been good friends. This candid relationship developed when one person chose to take responsibility for his own feelings and needs.
Responsibility: The seed of transformation
Later, the young monk grew up to be a counsellor and leader himself. He learnt to recognize his own feelings, needs, and desires, and accept the responsibility for change. He then offered his internal struggles to God for healing during his prayer sessions. Besides, this honest exercise helped him be sensitive to others’ needs for respect and recognition. Over a period of time, the culture of honest introspection, sincere service attitude and heartfelt prayers helped him overcome his self-centered needs and extend towards others more selflessly.
The seed of this positive transformation lay in his willingness to take responsibility for his own inner struggles.
We are fallible mortals and have our own strengths and weaknesses. When we choose to take responsibility for our lives, we take a humble position. This humility attracts higher divine powers to bestow grace upon us and this in turn helps us grow in life, with sobriety and maturity. The German poet and novelist Johann Goethe captured the essence, ‘Let everyone sweep in front of his own door and the whole world will be clean.’