Running a scam

A disclaimer – all those who believe in religion should not be reading this post. You have your own thing and I have my own and I don’t intend to disrespect your views. Also it is a lot of rambling. So if you don’t want to read too many words (the 140 character addicted), this post is not for you.

So yet again I am reading a Stephen King book. Regular readers of my blog will know I am a big fan of his books. The book am reading is called Revival. While I will not get into the plot, there is something I read which I will quote here. It’s a longish passage:

They don’t deserve the truth. You call them rubes, and how right you are. They have set aside what brains they have – and many of them have quite a lot – and put faith in that gigantic and fraudulent insurance company called religion. It promises them an eternity of joy in the next life if they live according to rules in this one, and many of them try, but that’s not enough. When the pain comes, they want miracles. To them I’m nothing but a witch doctor who touches them with magic rings instead of shaking a bone rattle over them”

This passage perhaps best represents how we look at religion and how we look at faith. I remember I had written something similar a while back.

This is how an average person looks at religion. Atonement of sins in this life so that next life (if there is such a concept) will be better. We remember the entity the most when we are in trouble. Even the atheist fall for it. So a question, why don’t we remember this entity when things are rocking good? Or do we think that what we are getting is what we deserve and it has been ordained. And if good life is what is ordained, why do bad times happen? Should it be taken care of by this insurance company? Our life itself is a miracle so why do we seek miracles??

You believe in religion, you believe in faith and at the same time believe in destiny. Aren’t they working at cross purposes? If you have faith and believe in God, then destiny should be taken care of.

So this scam has been going on for centuries. Perpetuated by those who become the proponents of faith… and we fall for it and send our love to them in the form of huge donations. Money that could have been well spent somewhere else. The coffers of various godmen and institutions reflect what suckers we are for this scam.

The fact is we don’t believe in ourselves. We don’t have a belief in what we are capable of. We want a crutch (will not call it a guiding light) on which we will walk through this life. And we spend money on this crutch. We invest time. And then expect an ROI. When this ROI doesn’t happen, we question the entity. We demand an ROI. We seek a miracle. And when nothing happens, we call it bad luck. We blame fate and destiny.

I know of enough and more people who are very religious but they are not great human beings. Compassion and empathy is furthest from their mind. Wonder why? Don’t all religions teach these two? 

I am perhaps rambling and have my thoughts all over but the point is, to be a better human being, do we need religion, faith or spirituality? To make a difference, do we need to be part of this scam? Because the moment you are part of something that is a scam, you are a hustler. You have a selfish motive (of next life being better).

I was told by someone the other day that their son knows intricate instances from Ramayana that most kids his age won’t even know. They took pride in that. Yet they wonder why their kid is so aggressive and they constantly have to control him hitting other kids. What gives?? How about teaching that value system? Perhaps they are focusing too much on the so called values from the epics (will he also at some point of time expect his wife to walk the fire to prove her fidelity?)

My life hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses but the good the bad and the ugly that has happened, it is all me. What I have today or don’t have, it is all my effort or lack of it (if I don’t have). And that is how life should be. The ROI has to be from our efforts. And not depending on that so called power that drives our destiny.

We always find a way


Last few posts probably had veered towards a darker side. So this post is an ode to our spirit.

We are a resilient lot. When faced with adverse situations, we always find a way out. To all the marketing and advertising people, am not talking Jugaad here.

Whether it is at work, or in relationships… while we may say we have given up and nothing can be done… this brain of ours is constantly whirring away… looking not for a way out, but to figure out how to manage the things… get what we want.

Actually it is not about getting what we want. Very few or none do actually. It is about reaching a solution that is acceptable not just to us but to everyone involved in that problem.

At work, there is stress and pressure. the deadline is fast approaching. All indicators are suggesting that we will not meet the deadline. But we don’t give up.. do we? the mind refuses to give up. And that spirit ensures that there is that one big effort that we all make. We know what is to be done. There is a moment when the various wheels that are moving in our head click together and we pull through. Sure it may not be the best thing to happen (What is best really?) but the fact is that we had to deliver and we did. And it is the best thing because under pressure and against all odds, we delivered. Nobody in this world gets all the time to create perfection and best is a very subjective thing. Like I said, it is a solution that is acceptable to all concerned.

When all seems lost and there is a whole bunch of people saying it can’t happen or it is not possible, that becomes the challenge… a motivation to prove that it can be done.

While at work, it is a combination of people in a team that makes it happen, in personal relationships, it is two individuals deciding (or maybe one) that the relationship has to work.

From a relationship perspective, we are coming to terms with the rapidly changing dynamics. Yes there are pressures being exerted by the environment. By our expectations. By what we see around us. But our core ( that has been formed over ages), still believes that walking away is not the best solution.

Relationship, unlike professional situations where we can always look for another job, require all our efforts to make it work. Two people come together in a relationship. Two strong minds. Conflicts are a given. But there is always a reason when two people are thrown together. And while it has become increasingly easy in the current environment to go different ways, do we do that at the first sign of conflict? Do we walk away just because it is not working out or because the timelines or expectations are not matching? No we don’t. We think it through. We look at common meeting points. We step back to analyse. We work on making it work. We explore all options. We invest time and effort. We spend years and years with a person and it cannot get over in a flash. We make adjustments (some will call it a compromise or sacrifice which is utter load of crap). If we invested in a relationship for so long, we also make the investment of time in finding out what will put everything back on track.

This probably is true to our culture than a western construct. Yes we believe in hedonism but we also believe in fate and destiny that brings two people together.

Whether it is work or a relationship, through the ages we have learnt not to give up. Because as a country, we have been through hard times. We were told we have to work hard to achieve everything in life and giving up was never considered an option. But back then there used to be a sense of resignation to what we did. We said it was our “bhagya” and carried on. But our generation has a different perspective. While it is easy to move on… whether are work or in a relationship, we don’t do so easily. We fight to make it work and when there is absolutely nothing that can be done is when we decide to move on.

We still believe in fate and destiny but now we look at it as a positive. And this post is a tribute to that positivity. 🙂

(Picture courtesy