When I was in another town recently, a young Engineer came to me for clarification of a doubt assailing his mind, He said: "I am working in an Essential Service department. Members of the public approach us for urgent help and they contentedly part with some extra money for the service and we also accept it as a tradition. My colleagues want to know what is wrong in that transaction ?"
I told him: "The very fact that you have come up with the doubt shows that your conscience is not as untroubled as you would like to believe. The members of the public you referred to are all aware that you are being paid sumptuous salary by the Government for doing your duty. And if they push extra money under the table, they would certainly not be doing so with a blessing in their hearts. An unuttered curse is inextricably mixed up with the speed-money which could bring a variety of miseries to the recipients, in the near future or even up to three generations."
"Look around and see for yourself the state of happiness in the families of your seniors who are given to these malpractices. Donít you see there much disquiet, continuing illnesses or even children or grand-children that are physically or mentally handicapped?
"All these are the significance of curse-imprints on the souls of the wrong-doers. The symptoms may take time to manifest but they cannot be escaped from.
"Regarding what you say about the "contented" contribution, let us take and example. You go to the post-office to buy envelopes and post-cards for Rs. 8/- say. Do you "contentedly" leave an extra Rs. 2/- on the counter out of gratitude for the service rendered to you ? Even if the clerk does not have the small change, donít you insist on being given stamps for that amount ?
"And in the bus you commute to work, donít you make it a matter of "principle" to demand 5 paise change from the conductor after purchasing your ticket? Why do you not forgo it contentedly?
"You are in the early stage of your career, young man. And so do not slip into wrong ways although seniors do not set the correct example. You want to lead a happy and peaceful life and you want your family to be prosperous. Then resolve here and now to do the right thing at all times, even if the work-environment is not favourable for virtue."
(Excerpt from a Lecture by Sage TGN)