Friday, June 12, 2009

" The Privilege of Being Human........."

The Privilege of Being Human.........

Mankind is so absorbed in life's pleasures and pain that a man has hardly a moment to think what a privilege it is to be human. Life in the world contains, no doubt, more pain than pleasure and that which one considers to be pleasure costs so much that, when it is weighed against the pain it costs, it also becomes pain. As man is so absorbed in his worldly life he traces nothing but pain and complaint in life and, until he changes his outlook, he cannot understand the privilege of being human.

Yet, however unhappy a person may be in his life, if he were asked, 'Would you prefer to be a rock rather than a human being?' His answer would be that he would rather suffer and be a human being than be a rock. Whatever be the condition of man's life, if he were asked, 'Would you rather be a tree than a man?' He would choose to be a human being. And although the life of the birds and beasts is so free from care and troubles, so free in the forest, yet if a man were asked whether he would prefer to be one of them and be in the forest, he would surely prefer to be a man. This shows that when human life is compared with the other different aspects of life it proves its greatness and its privilege, but when it is not compared with them man is discontented and his eyes are closed to the privilege of being human.

Another thing is that man is mostly selfish, and what interests him is that which concerns his own life. Not knowing the troubles of the lives of others he feels the burden of his own life even more than the burden of the whole world. If only man in his poverty could think that there are others who are poorer than he, in his illness that there are others whose sufferings are perhaps greater than his, in his troubles that there are others whose difficulties are perhaps greater than his! Self-pity is the worst poverty. It overwhelms man and he sees nothing but his own troubles and pains, and it seems to him that he is the most unhappy person in the world, more so than anyone else.

A great thinker of Persia, Sadi, writes in an account of his life, 'once I had no shoes, I had to walk barefoot in the hot sand, and how miserable I was. Then I met a man who was lame, for whom walking was very difficult. I bowed down to heaven at once and offered thanks that I was much better off than he who had not even feet to walk upon.' This shows that it is not a man's situation in life, but his attitude towards life that makes him happy or unhappy. This attitude can even make such a difference between men that one living in a palace could be unhappy and another living in a humble cottage could be very happy. The difference is only in the horizon that one sees: one person looks only at the condition of life, another looks at the lives of many people; it is a difference of horizon.

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