Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Smile and serve. Smile at yourself. Smile at your own mind and how it vacillates. Watch your mind and smile at your mind. Don’t be swayed by the mind but smile at it and serve the people around you in whatever capacity you can. You don’t have to do things that you cannot do. The world does not expect you to do that which you cannot do. See, if you are not a doctor, nobody expects you to give them medicine. Right? If you are not an engineer, nobody expects you to repair anything. The world expects from you that which you are able to do. And doing what we can is service. We need to do a little bit of service. Whatever we do, a portion of it should go back to society. Everyone should do this. My grandfather took all the gold that was in the house and gave it to Mahatma Gandhi. He sent his family to his in-laws house and stayed in Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram (seva gram) for twenty years serving Mahatma Gandhi. When we came to Bangalore, my grandfather introduced my father to Mahatma Gandhi. My father happened to have his gold chain on his neck. Mahatma Gandhi looked at it and asked “Is this necessary for you?” That gold chain, which was only fifteen grams, was all that was left. Immediately, my father said, “No, not necessary, you can take it. You are doing something for a big cause. You are doing the non-violence movement. This is for the country, for the nation, for the continent.” He immediately gave it to him.
When I was in school, pride was attached to simplicity, to equanimity. When you are equanimous, you are smiling and compassionate. The compassionate person was considered a hero. One who would never lose his temper was considered normal. Today, unfortunately, pride gets attached to aggression and violence. Every hero is very aggressive. So, if a college student is more macho and beats up everybody, he becomes a hero, a role model. This shift in role model is a problem all over the world. We need to bring back spirituality, the spirituality we all grew up with. Have an equanimous and balanced mind. Show compassion to everybody.