I was listening to a video of a journalist of repute, Josy Joseph and this title was one of the climax lines. He has produced a very interesting book (I heard so, still not got hold of it) called ‘A Feast of Vultures: The Hidden Business of Democracy in India’. It is not a critique on BJP or Congress, but on the entire political structure of the country and good one to read for all of us interested in India. According to him, Morality and Excellence are lonely pursuits. This book has excellent collection of various statistics which are known to many insiders, but not shared with outsiders. It requires tremendous courage to speak against the mighty ones.
We needn’t read that those who are in search of morality and excellence are lonely persons, but their search includes a lot of pursuits which could be terribly lonely. A researcher (in any field) has to spend a lot of hours collecting and analyzing the data before getting a ‘EUREKA moment’ or publishing something original and significant. In between many failures, one of the dreams/plans of a true investigative journalist forms a story. A master piece is born after enduring a monotonous and boring search. The simple farmers who have created eco-systems/forests of their own in their localities did an extremely boring job of planting, watering, caring. The fight for Indian Independence might have been very long, tedious enterprise, always with a hope of Independence, but not seeing in the sight till 1946. The world also shows many of the failures in search of excellence. It also reveals many ‘fake profiles of excellence’, and the commoners can’t distinguish between true and fake in all fields. Thus the search for excellence in your dream is very tedious, much less appreciated; but some dare to take it.
Just like excellence, an attempt to be moral, to be true to my convictions is a lonely pursuit. Jesus, after his terrible night at Gethsemane, felt abandoned by all, including God and disciples. Though God didn’t, everyone (especially the ones who matter) abandoned him (except a few ladies). He had to face things alone. Take the life of social activists or whistle blowers. They have fame. But when they are offered crores of money for maintaining a silence, it is again a lonely pursuit; they have make difficult choices. There are others occasionally, but many a times you have to hold on to your convictions. (In a religious sense, we will say God is with us; I am not denying it)
Though excellence and sticking to the morality are lonely pursuits, embracing friendships and companionships in life is very important. (For some in these type of endeavours, it is not possible too). We Jesuits also say that it is difficult to live with pioneers, path breakers. Whatever you say, their passion and vision is very much required for the world to move on despite all sorts of violence, injustice and atrocities. The originals do give themselves completely for the task.