Virtue is its Own Reward

Human nature is strange. In spite of the teachings of all our religious scriptures to indulge in performing our duties and actions without necessarily seeking for reward, glory or validation, we still measure our actions with the consequence that await us at the end. Bhagwat Gita categorically mentions that as long as we remain obsessed with the fruits of our cation, we will never give our best. Our motivation and de-motivation shall then depend on the highs and lows of the result. Contentment in the work must be the only guiding factor and even more so, when we know that we are on the path of righteousness which seeks no further gratification.

The internet today is inundated with inane jokes and lame memes but once in a while you come across a story that brightens up your day and makes it worth your while. I one such story is about an old lady with her grandson who is walking down the aisles of a supermarket, minutely scrutinizing every price detail before filling up her shopping cart with the barest of essentials. One look at her sad eyes is enough to convey the message to the audience that they have fallen on bad times and are finding it difficult to make ends meet. On the extreme insistence of the little boy, however she selects a small cake, perhaps to celebrate a special occasion of a loved one.

While the attendant at the counter is busy calculating the final expense, the old lady realisesshe will not be able to afford the cake, after all. So, she politely asks him to put it away but her grandson is heartbroken at this decision. Up comes a young man, visibly well-to-do and offers to pay for the balance, in spite of much reluctance from the old lady. The deal is done and the young man writes a card and leaves it with the cake for the owner.

The lady comes back home where her old and decrepit husband lies waiting and the grandson jumps on his lap to wish him ‘Happy Birthday’ and offers him the cake,. Looking at the man’s bewildered expression, his wife narrates the incident which happened back at the Mall. The man, visibly moved, opens the card which read “pass on the good deed”.

The old man‘s memory takes him back many years when at a confectionery store, a young boy was requesting his single mother for a piece of cake to celebrate his birthday which his mother could ill-afford, that day. Watching his downcast expression, he had moved up to pay for that cake and left the boy with the note ‘Pass on the good deed.’ Clearly, he had and even strange are the ways of the almighty, which ensures that ‘whatsoever you do to the least of my brother that you do unto me’. He does not only pay you for your good deeds but pays you many times over and what’s more make you a nobler version of your humble self.

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