| Introduction - Goodness in everyday in life|
| By S.P.Kanal|
Goodness in the life of the average man and woman must find a record. This is the spirit of this book.
The record of good acts has been too exclusively tied to the lives of the great as related in their biographies and autobiographies or anecdotal reminiscences. This has been unfortunate in many ways. It has very much faminished the record of good acts. The great are too few and tying up of the narration of good acts with the great has made the record of goodness too poor. This has created the false impression that goodness is as rare as greatness. Further, it gives the tragic impression that good acts are possible only to the great. This book hopes to remove both these unfortunate impressions. Goodness is much more widely spread than greatness. There is abundance of goodness to be gleaned from the life of the average man and woman. If the abundance of goodness in the average persons is focussed, it can create faith in the reality of goodness and inspire more goodness in life.
Secondly, it is possible to be good without being great. It is given to the average to achieve good conduct in some aspects of life. If a statistical approach is made to discover quotient for good conduct as we have discovered quotients for height, weight, abilities and intelligence, we might be witness to the truth that there are norms of goodness also.
These anecdotes are as varied as variety can be. They are from the life of children, adolescents, adults, and the aged. They relate to all interpersonal relationships-between children and parents, brothers and sisters, neighbours, husband and wife, officer and subordinate, to the dear departed, no less to the animal, the plant and the inanimate worlds. They deal with innocent and spontaneous goodness no less with deliberate mature goodness. They are concerned with conduct in crisis and daily life. They foster feelings of consideration, appreciation, gratitude and service in all relationships. They light our way to hundreds of ways of being good open to almost all of us. It is a book for the leisure hour as also for the hour of meditation on as to how to be good. They create faith in human goodness and inspire us to be good.
These little anecdotes are little lights to show us how we can make our life beautiful with little acts of goodness. And these little
lights when viewed together present as charming and magnificent a spectacle as the earthen lamps do at Diwali and offer for us felicity all its own. If we carry the light of the Diwali of good anecdotes in our life, our life will be full of beauty and joy.
These anecdotes from everyday life are not classified into groups and given titles. The c1assi fication of anecdotes may have given the narration a logical structure, but would have given the reader a feeling of surfeit leading-to boredom. If collection of all anecdotes relating to the feeling of gratitude, for example, were put together the principle of marginal utility would have started operating to the disadvantage of their inspirational quality. We have given the classification as part of the index, so that one can go to anecdotes of some particular type if he so desires.
It is suggested to the reader that he should not read more than a page or two of the book at a time in observance of the law of marginal utility. Each anecdote is complete in itself and gains nothing by what follows. It is better to leave taste in the mouth rather than go to surfeit.
This book like several other books of this type, shows the peculiarity and intense earnestness of the religion of De va Dharma to inspire, encourage and cultivate good conduct in everyday life of inter-personal relationship as integral, indispensible and inexpungible part of religious life. Bhagwan Devatma, in spite of his alling pre-occupations with new writings on truths of religion, took out time to write a book entitled Shishtachar (Good Manners). This book is in that genre.
I would close this introduction with millions of thanks to those who have offered us these small but significant lights of goodness in their lives. They have guided me better in the concrete conduct of my life than subtle philosophies and high sermons. This book is issued in the hope that these anecdotes will have similar effect on our dear readers.
This book, like other books, is published under the Headship of the Department of Literature of Dev Samaj. Since partition Dev Samaj publications are defacto, edited, printed and published by Shri K.L. Vohra, M.A. Every word in the books bears the stamp of his labour of love, his critical gift of editorship, and his aesthetic sensibilities ofa printer. S. P. KANAL