There is one other word that Swamiji has often used in his lectures and that word is 'Boldness'. I remember a story he told, of how he was being chased by monkeys. The faster he ran, the faster the monkeys ran and coped up with him. And then somebody suggested, "Don't run. Face them." And when he faced them, the monkeys withdrew and went away. This is true of most problems of the world. If you think that a problem is too big and you run away from it, it rises and rises higher and devours you. But if you face it with courage, you have a chance of solving it. And even if you don't solve it, it is still worth the struggle, because through your experience, someone else will be in a better position to solve it later.
UPLIFT FOR ALL – NOT FOR A FEW
I think that perhaps what we have taken from some of his doctrines was the idea of individual salvation and we end up by not having either individual salvation or collective salvation. In the spirit of science, which was so beautifully blended with the spirit of spirituality as in Vivekananda, we ought to think of the collective salvation or well being of all beings too.
INSPIRING VISION OF OUR GOAL
Swamiji preaches the brotherhood of man. In all nations this is today the most potent of slogans, the most potent of forces. But here again the strength has to come from man himself. It might seem as if politics enters into all activities of life. It is not politics which is bad, but what we make of politics. In fact I think that nothing in life is itself good or bad, but what we put into it or take out of it, matters. We have made politics a question of individual bickerings and individual selfishness instead of what it is supposed to be – that is, a vast movement for an entire people, a movement towards raising the people economically as well as morally and spiritually. This is what politics should be. And if it is that kind of politics, then it should permeate all our lives. That is what Gandhiji did. He took great religious ideals and put them to work for social service, put them to work in the daily lives of people not as high ideals but as practical steps to gain our goal. Today all have accepted our goal but there may be some doubting whether we are moving towards it because of thorns and stones hurting our feet. The thorns and stones will always be there, no matter what journey we undertake and they were there when we fought for our freedom. They were there in the path of Swami Vivekananda and all great reformers of our country and other countries but these people could go ahead, because they did not look down to their feet, but upwards towards light and towards their goal. We should direct our vision towards our goal which is indeed a great goal, because it encompasses not only our own country but the whole of humanity. India has indeed been fortunate that it had so many leaders in our political movements, in our movements of religious reforms, in our movements of social reforms, who have raised the vision of our people giving them guidance not only in understanding the past, but in trying to understand and more towards the future.