A Message Of Love
- Sivaram Srikandath
Story Dated: Monday, December 24, 2012 13:41 hrs IST
The late Shri K.M. Mathew was much more than the erstwhile Chief Editor of the Malayala Manorama newspaper. He was a person you could look up to; a role model to emulate; a loving and respected pater familias, from whom you could learn a lot about life. And certainly, a legend in his lifetime - a legend that continues to live on. His contributions to the field of journalism in Kerala are unparalleled, and he is credited with bringing in true professionalism to the newspaper industry in our state More than anything else, he was a humane visionary. He was as much regarded for his far-sightedness and business acumen, as he was for his genuine sympathy, love and kindness to others. He truly was a living embodiment of the phrase inscribed in the Malayala Manorama company logo, "Charity Our Household Divinity." Being kind, considerate and loving to fellow human beings was a natural way of life with him. No compromises.
This Christmas season, I had the opportunity to come across a message that he had scribbled in his note book, perhaps several years ago. The message simply read, " The highest and the best should happen to the other person - This is the best love."
What a thought ! Just like the man himself. Simple, direct and to the point. And as pure as the white jubba and dhoti that he always sported.
In a world filled with strife, jealousy and pettiness, these words should resonate loudly within each and everyone of us. During this season when we are celebrating the birth of the Son of God and his gospel of love and brotherhood amongst all of humankind, this message acquires more relevance; even more appositeness. Shri K.M. Mathew, or Achayan, as we used to call him, always spoke of being kind to, and wishing well of the others. Loose talk, unkind actions and petty behavior were all anathema to him. He would exhort us, at our internal meetings, not to be jealous of our competition, or to think ill of our business rivals His logic was very simple; when the competition excels, it just means that they are doing something right. Instead of being bitter at their success, we should see it as a spur for us to strive even harder. In particular, he was very keen that we treat everyone with dignity, respect and compassion. Like the Dalai Lama, Achayan sincerely believed that our prime purpose in this life is to love and help others. And at the very least, even if we can't help them, not to hurt them.
The Management guru Peter Drucker once said that "management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing." Great leaders are all like this. They inspire us to search within us, and to find that essential core of goodness that is so vital to the furtherance of the social contract. As John Donne put it so poignantly, "No man is an island, entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent, a part of the main." In the bustle and tumble of the modern world, we often tend to forget that all of humanity lead lives that are inter-connected with one other. Therefore, loving thy neighbour is not just a moral imperative, it is a practical necessity. For as Donne continues, "send not to know For whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."
So, this festive season, let us all take inspiration from the late Shri K.M. Mathew, and pause for a moment, and think about doing the right thing. Let us wish well of the other person. Let us share in the Yuletide spirit and pray that the highest and the best should happen to our neighbour, our fellow human being. Let us truly love the other person, whoever he or she may be, for as the poet Robert Browning says, without love the earth will be like a tomb.
The French born Jesuit priest and philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, writes beautifully, almost philosophically, about the need to love our fellow human beings:
Someday, after we have mastered
the winds, the waves and the tide
and gravity, we shall harness for God
the energies of love.
Then, for the second time in the history
of the world, man will have discovered fire.
This Christmas season, let us harness the energies of love and rediscover fire once again. For as God knows, the world surely needs it.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you.