I am wondering which is more important: Doing right things or Doing things right?
The word ‘right’ plays very critical role in this question. What is right? What is right for me, may not be right for you! How much right is really right? I can say if you my child goes to school and passes out, my kid has done it right but some one else might say the child has to do its best with full efforts and pass with A grade or something – then only he is doing it right.
Well, these are some questions for which we do not have a unique answer. And thats where the confusion arises. We think what we do is right. We are satisfied with the level of rightness that we can do. And some people also do the mistake of taking their level as the universal standard. Some people do the mistake of not even being aware of their level of rightness. They are just satisfied with whatever level that can possibly be. In case, we are not satisfied, we strive to achieve a level – that we think as right. In the sense, it all depends on the level at which we – our mind gets satisfied that we have done it right! We may not pursue the actual or the real 100% right at all.
I got this thought recently when I heard some one chanting Vishnu Sahasranamam( pls click here to know more about Vishnu Sahasranamam) . Well, I am proceeding with the thought that chanting Vishnu Sahasranamam is a right thing 😉 As I have mentioned in the page about Vishnu Sahasranamam, the way we recite is important. I mean, the pronunciation and the pace should be correct. Because, in Sanskrit, when we say ‘boo’, it is not same as ‘poo’. And this difference is critical in each and every phrase or word that is recited.
But, what I heard was in no way near to ‘right’ (even with my limited knowledge in Sanskrit). But I did understand that the person wanted to do the right thing. I mean the intention of spending that half an hour time in reciting something nice & positive was there. Whether he was aware or not, he did not do it right. I was wondering if he really realized that he needs some improvement in the way he was chanting it. But what I felt was, he was completely satisfied with the way he chanted the sahasranama. His level of satisfaction about doing it ‘right’ was very low. He got satisfied so soon that he was doing right and I could see that he did not seek any improvement at all.
The whole point is if you get satisfied about something so easily, you can never learn. Its not only for the sahasranamam but for anything! At the same time, as normal human beings, it is indeed very difficult to achieve the 100% level of perfection. It requires lot of commitment and perseverance to get to that 100% level. And if you want that perfection, you might even spend your entire life time to achieve that level of perfection. After achieving that perfection or say, 98% of the perfection, many just loose the motivation or interest in doing the right thing at all. I have also seen many people who know how to do it right but they don’t have the intention or motivation for doing it at all. Thats the irony of life.
So, here comes the question: Is it okay to do the right thing in wrong way? Does it really give the desired effect?
Well, I would say a plain NO. Even if you are doing a wrong thing, I think it should be done right. Only when you do it right, you actually involve yourself in that work. In other words, only when you involve yourself completely in that, you can do it right. And only when you do it that way, you can be happy or satisfied about what you are doing! Else, there is not point in doing it at all. No use in doing something when you are not actually involved or interested in it.
Even with 100% involvement, can the 100% level of rightness be achieved? I am not sure. This is where that satisfaction index of an individual comes into play. When we decide the level of rightness based on our satisfaction index, the most important thing is that we should be aware that our satisfaction index is not at the 100% level of rightness. We should be aware that our level is not ‘THE STANDARD’. That awareness is critical if you really want to learn how do it 100% right. Else, you just end up as half baked cake! Worst thing is that you don’t even realize it!