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Friday, December 7, 2012

...In Love and In War




Santosh Vichivara, the 19 year old who lost his life protesting eve teasing, and other guys like him;  this post is for you. I wish you would learn the art of self preservation while standing up for your causes. The world does not gain anything by loosing people like you who can stand up for what is right no matter what the consequences. So you are doing us a favour when you also take care not to lose your life in the process. The young blood takes risks, the mature are cautious. I wish people could be more balanced whatever the age, taking risks indeed ... but with caution!

There were 30 to 35 people outside the gate of his housing complex where this incident took place. If  he knew at least 10 of the 35 in the crowd and convinced them to move in, as a faceless crowd against the five erring teenagers, maybe he would have protected the girl and preserved the fine specimen of a man that he was. Stealth, shrewdness, planning and foresight are essential in a war for justice, not just courage.

A friend once told me that in ancient India, an aspiring King was supposed to learn 64 arts; two of which were deceit and theft. I was surprised and so he asked me 'How would a king learn to recognize a thief, a treacherous person etc if he himself does not know the art of stealing, lying and cheating!" That hit home. The Wikipedia is not as colourful in its descriptions of the 64 arts but I would rather go with my personal 'encyclopedia'; that is, my friend's knowledge.. Indeed these are arts, and are important for even the eventual victory of good over evil!

 The ethics of war are different, even the Bible shows that very clearly. I want to take the example of the story of David. Saul was chosen by God  to be the king of Israel to bring peace by ruling justly. This message of God was conveyed to him by Samuel. But later Saul changed and was more and more unwilling to listen to  God's orders (given through Samuel ) and began to do his own wish. So God chose David as the next king. Samuel was again supposed to give this message to Jesse’s son (David) but Samuel expressed to God his fear of being killed by Saul for this act. To this God told him “Don’t worry, Saul doesn't have to know. Give a feast in Bethlehem and invite all Jesse’s family to come” Stealth was employed in carrying out what was required; for 'self preservation' of Samuel! 

 David murdered Goliath and the whole world applauds that feat. Obviously murder was the right thing here as it was for eventual good. Killing enemies was the right thing to do in a battle (love your enemies?) David formed an enemy in King Saul and his life was forever in threat and he had to even live as an outlaw. He had to think where he would be safe. There were occasions when his hiding place was surrounded and he was on the verge of being killed, but he escaped. He lived many weary years of hiding from the king. During this time he went on raiding expeditions (looting?!)with Philistines (who were enemies of his land Israel, and so he had to ‘pretend” to be an enemy of Israel). If he had not 'cheated' them in this manner he would have lost his life and Israel would have lost its future king.

Those were different times, the era of kings and the rules were different, but  have the rules of war really changed? Indeed it hasn't. Even for our individual battles we often have to employ all our wits and all forms of arts. Dire circumstances almost invariably call for dire measures!

Now I want to move to another aspect of this story. From the time Samuel whispered in David’s ears (at the feast) that he is going to be the king, his life changed, from the carefree live enjoying all the joys of the natural world as a shepherd; to that of a fear for his own life. God had promised David that he would be king but there were so many tribulations before that really happened! He lived a life of fear of being murdered. But all this would have prepared him, strengthened him to be a strong and wise  king.   I was reading a book “Urantia” that had episodes of how Jesus managed the issues in his family, as a kind of father to his brothers. It dealt with many difficult times of  his life before he had to face the ultimate difficulty of 'knowingly and bravely' moving towards his torturous death. Life is not about just the end product. It is the whole journey of strengthening, of slowly and steadily becoming stronger and stronger; enough to handle the responsibilities like of being a king, or of being a sacrificial lamb.  


 It's Gods love for us that makes him allow miseries in our life so we could refine all our skills and also be able to think and take sound decisions. He just doesn't seem to bat an eyelid as we wail our lungs out, because he knows we can survive the misery and grow in strength if we use all our latent capacities. The one who sees every trouble as an opportunity to grow gains from everything and the one who blames and is angry with life looses the opportunity for personal growth and lives in constant misery and anger. Troubles are like falling into deep waters. The one who trusts would 'let go' and so float over the waters, the one who doesn't and fears or resists the waters, drowns. We can forgive God for allowing misery in our life if we can trust him, if we realize that to God ‘all is fair in His love for us’.

                                          
What a person is dealt with is part of life, it could be through  one or another’s hands or maybe through one’s own mistakes but what he does to get over it or rise above the situation is up to him. In this growth process we are allowed to make mistakes because we learn from them and grow more in wisdom. In fighting the battles in life we may do things we wouldn't in normal situation. David too did not always feel right; he often felt unworthy when God helped him and was kind to him (Interestingly he never questioned the misery God put him through!) Our body, our life, relationships, and all forms of arts are never mastered without some mistakes during the learning process. We may commit  errors  of judgement, mistakes or may even take dire measures as we learn the best ways of winning a battle for the  eventual victory of good, for winning a life that promises both worldly joys and heavenly happiness. We can forgive ourselves and so would God, because... all is fair in the 'Just' War.

Indeed when the purpose is ultimate good, all things do seem fair; be it in Love or be it War!

23 comments:

Jovy Thomas said...

This is a very inspiring post and the words are captivating.

Jerly said...

:):)Thanks Dear Jo!

jan neel said...

Great post, I am working on this in my life.

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

So true that we are, indeed, refined in the fire. Life isn't easy, nor is it meant to be, but God is in it with us in all things.
Great post!

Jerly said...

Thank You Jan and Martha. Right there! Life is not easy. Better always to be prepared for the worst and never getting tired of hoping for the best:)

Sasikumar Rajappan said...

Hi friend, I'm hosting a contest on 55 Fiction. It would be very Interesting. I'll be very happy if you contribute your writing in this contest "Best 55 Fictionist Contest" you can share it to your friends and fellow bloggers... take care...

Corinne Rodrigues said...

I like your take on this, Jerly. It makes me think of the words of Jesus urging us to be 'wise as serpents and gentle as doves'.

Rimly Bezbarua said...

Liked your post Jerly. It reminded me of another war, the Kurukshetra war where god says it is fair to kill for a just war.

http://rimlybezbaruah.blogspot.in/2012/11/breaking.html

Rahul Bhatia said...

Another lovely post Jerly! The shrewdness of Chanakya is what is needed to handle people, reward, punish, deceit,and treat equal:)

deeps said...

not in the right mood to write on this, will come back soon...

Jerly said...

Sasikumar, i have yet to try fiction. I might if I get the time. thanks for the invite.

Corrine, thats exactly the verse we should hold to!

Rimly, all religions teach the same principles. Coincidences are one of natures most intriguing way to remind that all things are connected.

Rahul, Chanakya is one guy I admire from school days and infact the friend I mentioned(he reads a lot) most probably got the knowledge of the 64 arts in Chanakyas Arthashastra!

Deeps- what happened!! U sound troubled?

Shashank said...

Jerly well articulated.. but i may want to leave you with some food for thought here..when the motive is to fight against evil as in the case mentioned one always has to start alone.. the 30 odd people even today do not testify against the brutal act..they obviously would not fight on that day as well..my heart goes out to that boy who had the courage to stand up for what is RIGHT.. a SALUTE to him..

Farfalla Dreams said...

AMEN!!! Great post. I love ALL of David's life story. He wasn't perfect, but He had a heart for God. It helps us to realize that we will all make mistakes in life, but He will guide us, protect us, and direct our path. Thank you for sharing this.

Jerly said...

Thanks Shashank, for bringing out this aspect! I had thought of that but in a post I can only mention 1 possible option and ur opinion opens to me the option to write on it further.

1st- 5 to 1 (even if unarmed) is a useless fight. Here there was the need for foresight that they could even be armed.

2nd -Convincing people before a murder is easier than convincing them to testify after a murder because there is more fear from what they witnessed.

-calling the police or calling the guard of the complex maybe as useless, but he could call up people from his complex for help(if he had a phone)if he knew no one reliable in the 30 crowd.

What I just wanted to say is one has to ask oneself this question "Will my act save the situation"

Obviously his act did save the girl from further teasing but filled all with fear that if we help a girl we pay with our life. So if he had saved her and himself too there was an example to follow. This post is my appreciation for his bravery too and more a deep regret for his loss

Jerly said...

Farfalla Dreams Thanks so much for sharing ur view on this. Indeed we are human and err and yet God will still be kind and guide us because we have the heart for God

deeps said...

there are saying in our own mother tongue
kakkan padichal pora...
mulline mullu kond...

i stand for capital punishment, but if all the Davids want to murder all the Goliaths out there.. well... thats hell let lose then i guess..

when the 'just' & 'good' are on my side my war is always the right one...nha?

A Great Liar said...

Fantastic argument Jerly. Seriously. Cant help but agree with you word to word. Pain can be a form of redemption in ways we often cannot foresee. It is for a good reason that almost all the major religions in the world preach peace in the time of peace, and war when its time for war.

Very well done indeed! :)

Zunnur said...

Be brave, be strategic, be safe, asses the risk and act smart. My heart goes out to the boy. He is courageous.

Jerly said...

Deeps Even the internet didnt help me find the complete sentence for that malayalam saying. I am not that aware of mallu saayings as I am not exactly brought up there

AGL THANKS! that was a very encouraging comment :)

Zunnur glad u dropped by on this and shared in this tribute to the boys courage. Thanks!

Debra said...

Jerly, good insights here. Since our ways are not his ways, nor our thoughts his thoughts, we’d do well to acquire ‘the mind of Christ’, and in so doing become a man or woman after his own heart. Have you ever heard it said, “S(he) has more zeal than wisdom? Our zeal for doing what is right must be tempered with acting on what is wise.

Rahul Aggarwal said...

may that boy's soul RIP ..

awesome post Jerly .. very inspiring .. something we all can implement in life ..!

Rajan C Mathew said...

I should appreciate your philosophy and your writing. But more than that what struck me was your casual reference to the Urantia Book. Study the book a bit more seriously, you would begin to realize the truths of life and living! Best regards!

Jerly said...

Thank you. I do hope.

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