Choosing The Pleasant Over The Worthy
This morning I woke up to a wonderful speech by a dear monk of mine. He quoted the Bhagavad Gita and also talked about the Upanishads where he mentioned the nature of the human mind — which is to always choose the pleasant over what it must be doing. In Sanskrit, it is referred to as “Shreyas” and “Preyas”, where Shreyas means what we must be doing ideally, and Preyas means that which is pleasant.
Mostly, in our lives, it happens to us that we often tend to be inclined toward the pleasant, and therefore we ignore what we must be doing as our duty. Let’s say for example that we want to lose weight, and if we tend to see a cookie in front of us, how many of us can resist that? Most of us can’t, isn’t it? Knowing fully well that eating the cookie is going to harm us, we indulge in it, anyway.
That is a classic example of choosing the pleasant over the worthy, and our ancient scriptures tell us that if we can prevent this from happening then a lot of our problems in life can be solved. Another example here would be the Marshmallow test which is being conducted by senior psychologists who conduct their tests on a group of children.
The psychologists then asked the children to pick up a marshmallow and told them they would get another marshmallow if they waited for 5 minutes, there were a set of children that waited for the second marshmallow, while a majority of kids chose to eat the marshmallow. Later, after 18 years the psychologist visited these kids, and after studying them for a while found out that the ones who chose to postpone eating the marshmallows were much more patient, cooperative and far-sighted, as compared to their other counterparts.
What is astonishing to note is that these kids even at a young age could distinguish between what is pleasant and what is worth doing, and I am sure that they have been very successful in their lives. Shree Krishna says that it is always a choice and the choice is right there in front of us, and it is us now who have to make a choice.
I will end this blog by saying that just before starting to write this blog I was very reluctant, but I decided to take care of the worthy and chose to write it instead, hopefully, I did a fair job there.