654 – Compromise

National Integration Through Thirukkural And Sanskrit

Evolution of a compromise

In today’s world, the deterioration of values is wide spread and penetrates all sections of the society.  People in positions of economic, social, knowledge or political power, determine the outcomes of an effort and merit is largely ignored. This results in a compromise in the moral values and the concomitant quality of life of people. Even people, who want to pursue a honest life, are compelled to make compromises. This hastens the deterioration process.

If one were to look into the genesis of the problem, it can be attributed to simple decisions made by each individual in every aspect of their day-to-day life.  It is the collective outcomes of such decisions,  which has led to the present  degradation of societal values.

 The evolution of a compromise follows a pattern as under.

  1. Initially one experiences guilt in doing things which are prohibited morally or socially.
  2. After couple of instances, the guilt in doing such an act, slowly disappears.
  3. The frequency of such acts increases and emboldens the doer and he prides doing it.
  4. Others start emulating the doer, who is now branded a pioneer and a visionary.
  5. Such acts gets widely practiced across all sections of society, gradually gaining acceptance and recognition.
  6. Perpetrators, with help from self-styled intellectuals and opinion-makers, justify the inevitability of such acts and set tolerance limits for violation.
  7. Finally, the people who do not conform or protest the above, are branded traditionalists and old-timers and subject to ridicule and misery.

Three glaring examples in support of the above pattern are:

  1. Drinking alcohol, which was taboo 50 years back has now gained wide spread social acceptance under the garb of ‘Social Drinking’.
  2. Corruption which was rare in the past and only confined to certain spheres, has now become the norm at every stage in day-to-day life.
  3. Non-Adherence to centuries old spiritual, religious and family practices and traditions thereby pushing them, nearer to extinction.

 The solution

Every individual should desist from doing things which are morally or socially prohibited. Every small compromise by an individual, had a cascading effect on others actions, and gradually, creates an irreversible  damage to our value systems. If doing a prohibited act is unavoidable, at least, one should feel guilty about doing it and  should not be tempted to make it a habit. That way, at least the pace of deterioration can be slowed down to attempt a reversal later.

Thiruvalluvar in his couplet 654 says: “A person who is clear in his perception of what is right and wrong, would never attempt to do anything dishonourable to overcome a difficult situation. He knows that, the pain can only be postponed and not avoided”.

இடுக்கண் படினும் இளிவந்த செய்யார் 
நடுக்குஅற்ற காட்சி யவர்

Idukkan Padinum Ilivandha Seyyaar
Nadukkatra Kaatchi Yavar

பரிமேலழகர் உரை: 

இடுக்கண் படினும் இளிவந்த செய்யார் – தாம் இடுக்கணிலே படவரினும், அது தீர்தற்பொருட்டு முன் செய்தார்க்கு இளிவந்த வினைகளைச் செய்யார்; நடுக்கு அற்ற காட்சியவர் – துளக்கம் அற்ற தெளிவினை உடையார். (சிறிதுபோழ்தில் கழிவதாய இடுக்கண் நோக்கி, எஞ்ஞான்றும் கழியாத இளிவு எய்தற்பாலது அன்று என்பதூஉம், அஃது எய்தினாலும் வருவது வரும் என்பதூஉம் தெளிவர் ஆகலான் , ‘செய்யார்’ என்றார்.).

Sanskrit Translation by Shri S.N. Srirama Desikan

ப்ராப்தே(அ)பி வ்யஸனே தஸ்ய நிர்மூலன க்ருதே(அ)பி வா |
நிந்த்³யம்  கார்யம்  ந குர்வந்தி விஸு²த்³த⁴  மதயோ ஜனா: ||