An old man sat and stared at the stars at night thinking about Universe and creation. His students were staring at the sky too though they knew not what to look for. Had the teacher asked them to partake in this activity? No, he had not. The old looked at them and said do you know what I was doing? And his students answered said that he was staring at the stars in the sky.
He said to them “ I stared at the sky contemplating about Universe and Creation. What were you doing?”. They looked at him rather sheepishly and said “ Teacher, we were copying you but had no idea of what to do”.
“ Did I tell you to stare at the heavens?” the old man named Plias asked his students.
“ No you did not” they said in unison to him.
“ You saw me staring at the heavens without realizing what the purpose was and yet you copied me” he said to them.
“That is the mark of the common man; the man who imitates without thinking. It is the mark of the foolish and naive” he said.
“Every action that you think, every deed you perform moust be planned. There has to be purpose and object in mind” he said to them.
“ The Creator created everything in the Universe with an object and reason and not for fun and play” he continued.
The sun rises at a particular time and sets at another. Similarly the moon is only visible during the night and not at day. The seasons change and every season has its own particular characteristics. Everything and everyone in this Universe has been created for an objective.
The students looked at Plias thinking he was half mad.
Plias looked at his students before asking them “ Do you know what man covets the most?”.
And they all came with different answers. Someone answered 'wealth', some answered 'health', some answered 'power' and so on and so forth.
He looked at them before saying “ Each man covets what he or she values the most. It can be one thing or a number of things. Man is never satisfied. At most times he covets that which he is deprived off. Quite often he covets what his neighbor or friend possesses without being thankful for what he has and his friend, relative or neighbor donot. It is the lack of moderation in life and dissatisfaction with what one hasnt in life that deprives him or her of solace and peace. It is greed, jealousy and spite that robs a person of virtue and character. Such a man or woman can never truly be at peace with himself, herself or society. It turns men and women into animals incapable of tolerating the others welfare or enjoying anothers success. These are the seeds of evil that make societies meccas and centres for evil and vice. It gives birth to selfishness, hardheartedness, the shallowness of character, fissures in communal unity, the abuse of power and corruption.
Men who cannot look beyond themselves and their needs and wants can never hope to contribute positively to society. Put such men in positions of power and they will create chaos and disorder in society. Such type of men are detrimental to the building of a strong nation. They are driven by desires and vulnerable to every form of corruption.”
One of the students named Alexander asked Plias what life had taught him. And Plias looked at him and spoke
“ Each man experiences different feelings and emotions at different points across his life. He can be impulsive and irrational as a young man led by his emotions and desires though they may conflict with the value system prevalent in society and forbidden by religion but once he has experienced what has been forbidden and travelled the path of sin and suffered and recovered from the repurcussions of his bad actions and decisions, he can hope to learn from his mistakes and sins to become better a better human being and become mature and wiser. The choices and decisions are for man to make. A wise man thinks and then acts; a foolish man acts and then thinks. There is a wide difference between the two. One uses his mind; the other does not want to use it.
Each man reacts differently to similar situations; each persons reaction to similar circumstances and stimuli may entirely be different and unique. It is the difference of thought and opinion that leads to a diversity of thought and ideas as well as views and perspectives on life and other matters. It is the diversity of opinion, thoughts and ideas that lends impetus to creativity to broadening of horizons; the stagnation of thought and ideas do the opposite.
In life no two moments are the same. There is a constant flux in moods, thoughts, ideas, perspectives, needs, wants, desires, expectations, circumstances, conditions, moments, etc. Everything in the Universe particularly in this dimension is finite and in a constant state of change.
Even our relationships with our friends, relatives and parents may undergo change from time to time. In a similar manner, nations who are friends at one time may become enemies at another.
Life is a path of trials, tribulations and sorrow that is interwoven with moments of joy. The conditions and circumstances into which we are born are not of our choice. Neither do we have any say within the moments when we will fall ill or when we will die. We have little means of determining or predicting when there would be good or bad times in our life. There is a lot of uncertainty in life. Nothing can be taken for granted or for sure.
In this life, there are no true friends. They are there as long as you are doing well. And as soon as you are in problem, they move away from you. Even relatives look the other way in times of trouble. There is only one force which is truly there for you all the time and that is the Creator of the Universe. It is He alone who can benefit you and no one else.
The world can strip you and rob you of all your possessions except knowledge. Only knowledge and education can open your doors to a better life and future. These are the sole treasures that no one can rob. Only through better education and acquisition to knowledge can you hope to earn a living to survive the trials of life.
In life, take nothing and no one for granted. Most of the things that have been forbidden by God are made enticing by the Devil who seeks to mislead men and women. These forbidden acts have detrimental impact upon individuals and society. Once an individual commits these sins, they open a passage way for more sins and negativity in their lives. Those whom God wants to rescue soon realize that alcoholism, adultery, abortion, homosexuality and other sins carry a detrimental impact.
Therefore you build your character through an indoctrination of a value system set by the Creator. Man has been created for one purpose only. And that is His Worship and Remembrance. He had asked of man to balance his Worldly and Spiritual lives. The believer submits completely to His Commandments whereas the disbeliever disbelieves in Him or moulds His Commandments to conform to his lifestyle.
The pathway that leads straight to God leads away from ignoble desires made to appear as jewels and treasures by Satan. Satan seduces man to commit acts that are lewd and lecherous. He also tempts and entices man to commit acts that are impure and evil.
Arrogance, self narcissism, hate, spite, jealousy, the breaking of covenants, dishonesty, divorce, gambling, intoxication, nudity, vulgarity, lying, deceity and hypocrisy are just some of the many things that God detests and yet Satan whisphers into the ears of men and women to lead them astray.
So the best of the people are those who are the best in their actions and deeds.”
As usual what he had said did not make sense to the young pupils who sat around their teacher.
Noting that the students were tired, he let them off for the day. From noon till seven at night, Plias would teach students about life and what it meant. He was tired and hungry. His wife Genova brought him supper and water to drink. Plias always ate sparingly at night. His wife had already had her food. She looked at him. At seventy years, he wasnt getting any younger.
The next morning Plias was up at seven in the morning and making breakfast. After consuming it, he would sit and meditate for about half an hour and then go out on a morning walk along with Genova before coming home. He would then immerse himself in writing on various subjects before preparing for the classes which commenced at noon. Each class would last an hour and would have not more than ten pupils.
Soon the first class of the day commenced and the students had many questions to ask. And a young man named Orpheus asked Plias of how a child should be raised? Plias stared into the distance before beginning:
“Each new born child needs affection, compassion and proper care and nutrition for survival. It is exactly the way a plant bearing flowers, needs water, sunshine and fertilizer for its proper growth. However as the child grows, the parents have to provide an atmosphere that is a blend of discipline, love and punishment. The child should not be pampered and spoilt for the real world is harsh and everything comes for a price. A child growing up in luxury and used to having everything his way will find later on that in life things are rarely the way he would want them to be and that conditions and circumstances in life are in a constant flux.
Nay, it is for the mother to inculcate a respect for elders, a respect for life and a proper value system within a child. Children can be moulded to become responsible and decent men and women who contribute to society and who are not a liability to it.”
“ Did you understand what I have told you Orpheus?”, asked Plias and Orpheus nodded in assent.
Then a student named Hermes asked Plias, “ What system of government is better?
Plias paused, smiled and replied “ It is not the form of government but the character and ability of men who sit in positions of power that deternines the future and fate of a nation. If those who sit in positions of power are greedy, selfish and corrupt the masses will suffer. And if they lack character and purpose, they will mould the society into a mecca for vice, evil and corruption where there will be no justice or accountability; it will become a haven for chaos, injustice and crime. And as the foundations of the nation weaken due to the spread of evil in society, it will become easier for neighboring enemies to take advantage of its vulnerability.”
“ I hope this answers your question Hermes” said Plias and Hermes shook his head.
Another student Xerxes rose up and asked what masses should do when the leaders donot deliver?
Plias looked hard at him before answering “If it is established that the particular political parties have not been able to deliver to the masses
when in government and that each new government is as corrupt or more corrupt than the previous one, then the masses should definitely rebel against the political set up and call for a massive overhauling of the system. Revolutions are bloody but if stripping the elite of its powers can render peace and prosperity to the nation, its worth the while to rebel.”
Hermes looked satisfied and sat down.
Xerxes raised his hand and Plias asked him to speak.
“Teacher” he said, “ Will revolution not destabilize a nation and weaken it?”
Plias looked at him and replied “ A lot many great nations and civilizations collapsed when their societies became evil and the corrupt rulers became prone to luxuries of life, to wealth, adultery and intoxication. When evil spreads through societies and nations, they are ruled by unjust and corrupt men and women who think only for themselves and not the masses or the people of the nation. In such lands terrible injustices are perpetrated; might becomes right; a lie becomes the truth; honesty is shunned and corruption is promoted as a way of life; the rights of citizens are suppressed; a fertile and prosperous land gives way to one facing many woes and troubles; the state institutions become centres for loot and plunder of wealth and resources of a nation; lawlessness prevails for corruption is rife even in those institutions responsible for safeguarding law and providing order; principles of merit and accountability are set aside and eventually the country collapses.”
Does this answer your question XERXES asked Plias? And Xerxes nodded in agreement.
Hermes then asked Plias, what are the key ingredients of a progressive society and nation?
Plias looked at all his students before stating “ Within progressive nations, the priorities of the rulers are concerned with the welfare and strength of th e nations and its masses. A great emphasis is laid upon education and the teacher occupies an important role and position. The leaders set a precedent for the masses to follow; they lead by example. Rulers and leaders in these countries respect the laws of the land and safeguard the rights of all the citizens regardless of their religion, race, caste, color or creed. Merit and accountability form integral features of governance and society. The rich are not allowed to subjugate the poor and the strong are not allowed to subjugate the weak. Justice is supreme and it does not differentiate between the rich and the poor. It is also ensured that money does not circulate amongst a particular class and that the wealth is distributed evenly amongst all the classes in the society. Corruption and vice is not tolerated and is routed out. This is what makes strong, vibrant and progressive nations.”
“ I hope that I have answered your answer” said Plias to Hermes.
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