I am a Prosperous Man

I Am A Prosperous Man 01-09-2018

In this world, everyone is seeking to be prosperous. That is what drives us, that is what makes us do whatever it is that we do, that is what shapes our personalities, our relations, our aims and our goals. Some appear to achieve them, others not. But who amongst us is prepared to say ‘I am a prosperous man?’ I wager that would be a very small number.

Do you wonder why? Is it the way define the word Prosperity? Perhaps. For, I do believe, that none of us who travel in the train headed towards a station called Prosperity, truly know when the destination has arrived! Hence, we continue to sit in that train, hoping that one fine moment, we will suddenly know! Unfortunately, like the other train we know, the platforms are not marked with the name of the station saying Prosperity junction or some PA announcer welcoming you to the city of Prosperity! On the way, ANY station could have been the one. What is also different is that this train ride, called Life, keeps on travelling without a permanent halt. Only our death will create its Terminus. How will we then insure that we do arrive at Prosperity Terminus?

So it goes back to the point of being able to define what Prosperity really is- to you. For each one us it may mean differently. For a beggar on the street with no roof over his head, being healthy enough to beg the next day is a form of prosperity. For the same beggar having a hutment with movie posters for a wall and torn tarpaulin sheets for a roof can be prosperity. For a hutment dweller, having a common bathroom to use in the vicinity is prosperity. Having flowing water in that toilet is Abundance! Two or sometimes even three square meals a day for self and family is the Lord’s gift! These go way beyond prosperity. But do we really see them that way?

Most do not. We take health for granted- and we deal with sickness with medications and doctors. We curse the physician and surgeon etc. for the amount they charge us the minute we are ok. We take our houses for granted but we wont cooperate with anything that the Society in which you live in demands of you- unless it is convenient to you. On Independence day you are too lazy to get up for the flag hoisting (at 8.30 am!) but make it to the free breakfast provided by the Society by 9.15am. You will stick the flag on your car dashboard or pin it to your lapel of your shirt but keep your servants or employees enslaved in some manner or the other. And so on.

So really speaking, prosperity is all about definition. If you never have to go the Doctor you are a very prosperous man. If you have the time and willingness to contribute to the Society in all its efforts to serve its members, you are a prosperous man. If your country is free and you are able to live the way you want, be who you are and not be afraid of stating that or living it, you are a prosperous man. If you have a house, running water, fan or Ac to run in summer and heater to run in winter, you are a prosperous man. If you have 24 hour water supply at home and office then you are a prosperous man.

If your family is with you, if your wife loves you still after 25 years of marriage, you are a prosperous man. If your kids listen to what you say and respect you as a father, you are a prosperous man. If your relatives and friends are happy to visit you or have you visit them and stay with them and be with you, then you are indeed a prosperous man.
If you have the money to spend on what you need – and not what you desire- you are a prosperous man. Desires are endless. Sating one desire never fulfils it- just creates more of it. Needs, on the other hand, are fulfilled i.e. completed, when you meet them. The ancient custom of feeding the Brahman is to drive home this point. It is only in eating that a man can say Enough, I cannot have even one morsel more! For everything else, he will say, Ye Dil Maange More!

So the problem is not that we are not doing enough- for, all of us are working hard towards a goal that we call Prosperity but one which we have never defined properly. At every stage it becomes a redefinition. At 20, I recall saying to myself that if I have 2 lacs in my bank in the next 5 years (at that time 2L was indeed a decent sum of money!) I will consider myself prosperous. That 2L came sooner than I thought. But by then, it was not enough. The number simply kept expanding every time you would go near it. Then you keep playing this game of ‘Life Snake and Ladder’ and the Snake always seems to get you!

I have come to the realisation that it is the little things that really make us prosperous. The fact that I can wake up in the morning, feeling refreshed after a good night’s sleep. That I will have a nice hot cup of coffee made for me by my wife who still loves me after a few decades of marriage. The simple pleasure of reading the morning papers while sitting in comfort of a house that you created through your efforts. The warm greeting proffered by your sons and daughters as they get up one by one and come down for their morning cuppa. The sound of little kids in the house, scampering and enjoying themselves, no matter what time of the day it is! Breakfasting with some friends on a Sunday morning and just talking nonsense for a few hours! Listening to the music you love, watching movies that are well made in the company of those who you love and treasure. Enjoy the respect of your colleagues and the generosity shown by your friends and acquaintances. Being able to help anyone who needs help without thinking of what you will get in return. Treating your servants and employees well and taking care of their needs. These are some of the joys of life that truly make you Prosperous.
There may be bigger houses, better looking women, healthier looking men with six packs, fancier cars, many gizmos and gadgets, travelling business class everywhere etc. etc. But are they able to enjoy the littler things in life that don’t really cost much? If not, then they are all less prosperous than you.

Don’t measure your life by your bank balance. See what deposits you have made of the littler and simpler things in life. Make your efforts to increase those efforts. They last much longer and produce uninterrupted happiness. Then you can truly say, I am a Prosperous Man.

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