In my neighborhood a girl of seven years old approached her mother with a new pencil brought from a nearby shop. Her mother asked her where she got the money to purchase it. She innocently replied, “Mummy, you only told me that the shopkeeper is ours.” This was the shop where they had an account and payed at the end of the month. On an earlier occasion her mummy had mentioned it in some other connection and the child took it in toto.
Similarly, a girl of 5 years old went with her grandma to a cooperative shop. Going through the displays grandma was looking for some item and comparing prices for different brands. The girl picked up an attractive pack and asked grandma its price. Knowing from grandma that it was free she asked to take that pack. A lady who was standing nearby told the girl that nothing was free there. She could have it only when she purchased the particular item. The girl blushingly placed the item back on the stand.
Only 50 years ago India still had Dharmshalas that provided free lodging, dispensaries, water-huts and many more free facilities for whosoever needed them. They were all provided by donors or the government. But this situation is fast being commercialised now. We may reach the point where even water and air are to be bought.
The present situation is compelling each of us to be selfish and leave innocence behind. God asks us to be like a sheep, but how could that survive in this cunning world? The innocent seems to be an easy victim.
God’s ways are quite different from those of the world. A cunning person is easily trapped in his own behaviour and his heart becomes a breeding place of vice. This robs him of contentment and peace of mind. He indulges in accumulating wealth aimlessly, though he himself cannot enjoy it. For the sake of temporary name and fame he tries to push others into corners. On the other hand, almost naked Fakirs gain immortal name and fame through singing the glory of God. They attract people with the aim of developing compassion in their hearts. Such chosen ones are very few and most people keep compassion away from the heart, otherwise they could not pursue their worldly desires.
However, innocence should not be taken for granted as foolishness. It is all part of the hidden plan of the Almighty.
SP Sharma, India