Human Excellence

I have often written in this forum on the subject of Human Excellence. Human Excellence is what builds, sustains and nurtures the society and the nation. The intellectual and material excellences are only two legs of the tripod.  The third leg is the spiritual excellence.  I am not using the word spiritual in a religious sense here.  The spirit is universal.  The moment one cares about someone or something more than oneself, he/she enters the spiritual domain. India’s only (THE ONLY) problem is lack of Human Excellence. All other problems (including poverty) are only symptoms of this fundamental problem. Selfishness, greed and corruption are rampant within us, particularly in the government and the bureaucracy. Like a cancer they destroy every living cell of potential opportunities. 
I have been criticized by some of our readers for being somewhat an idealist and not a pragmatist. I appreciate that this criticism is offered in a sincere way. However, I refuse to believe that human beings are inherently selfish, greedy and corrupt animals and the only way to keep them in check is with systemic means. While systemic restraints are an essential part of good governance, we must not forget that the system itself is a construct of the same human beings. Human Excellence is also an inherent and important part of the same human being. In our country it has gone dormant in a state of hibernation.
After the recent calamity which devastated North-West Japan, the Japanese still had some important lessons to convey! Before I list these lessons, I wish to tell that these are not my observations. I received these in an email that did not mention the source. If any of the readers are aware, please tell us so we can give the proper credits.  The observations listed below are too important to ignore and should be published here for the benefit of all of us.
What a difference between them and us!  I am not saying that Japanese are all good and Indians are all bad. We both have our strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps weaknesses are more apparent closer to home. Still the differences are glaring and remind us of the difficult path ahead.
In one of my earlier articles emphasizing the importance of nationalism I said “Show me a progressive country and I will show you people who take pride and ownership in it”. Here is how the Japanese have conducted themselves after the recent earthquake and the devastating tsunami that followed:

 Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief.  Sorrow itself has been elevated.


Disciplined queues for water and groceries.  Not a rough word or a crude gesture.


The incredible architects, for instance.  Buildings swayed but didn’t fall.


People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something.

No looting in shops.  No honking and no overtaking on the roads.  Just understanding.


Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors.  How will they ever be repaid?


Restaurants cut prices.  An unguarded ATM is left alone.  The strong cared for the weak.


The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do.  And they did just that.

They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins.  No silly reporters. Only calm reportage.

When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly.
During the dawn of Quality Control in the 1970s the Japanese taught the world about benchmarking for continuous improvements. The process of continuous improvement is not just an industrial tool - it is a way of life. These are 10 benchmarks for all of us to measure ourselves against.


More by :  Dr. Gopal Singh

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Views: 3566      Comments: 1

Comment Inspirational ...enjoyed.
Sir, Thank you also for your comments on my cartoons.
(Your idea on my Anna Hazare cartoon is a great one...)
Regards, Thommy

10-Apr-2011 22:59 PM

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