Chapter 30: Possibilities of Love
It is such an ugly system of education, but it is understandable. Religions, politicians, business people, warriors - all wanted the mind to be trained. And the heart can be a disturbance - it is going to be a disturbance. If you are a soldier and if you have a heart, you cannot kill the enemy, because the moment you will take your gun to kill someone, your heart will say, “Just as you have a wife waiting for you - your children, your old mother and father - this poor man’s wife must be waiting also. His children, his old mother and father, are waiting for the son to return home, and he has not done anything to you, and you are going to kill him. For what? - to get an award from the military academy? To get a promotion?”
The heart will be a disturbance. It is better to make soldiers forget their heart: they simply go on killing like robots, without any feelings.
The people who are after money don’t want the heart because the heart will be a disturbance: it cannot exploit people.
My father was a small businessman.he was a very simple man. And once a customer had dealt with him - my grandfather was there, my uncles were there in the shop - but anybody who had dealt with my father would ask for him. And my grandfather would say, “But we are here. What do you want? He has just gone to take his lunch.”
They would say, “He will come back.but we want only to deal with him.” Because he would tell them what the cost price of any item was: “.and this is my profit. If you think the profit is too much, you can tell me. If I can manage to cut it, I will cut it. I have taken the minimum profit; you can go around the market and you can see.”
They said, “You are the only person who tells us the cost price. And you also tell us your profit, and it is so small that we cannot even say to you to cut it a little. After all, you have also to live. But nobody else does it; even your brothers, your father - nobody talks about cost price. They simply say, ‘This is the price,’ and we don’t know how much profit they are taking.”
And my whole family was against my father: “This is not the way to do business. This is not a charity shop. You could have got so much more money - but first you tell him the cost price! And he is not asking for the cost price, he is asking for the selling price.”
My father said, “It is impossible for me to cheat a man, to exploit him. And what are we going to do with the money? Whatever we need, we have. More money brings more troubles.”
But nobody was agreeing with him, and if there was a new customer, my grandfather would tell my father, “You go inside. Don’t destroy this customer - let me tackle him.” And my grandfather was asking double the price. If it was worth ten rupees, he was asking twenty rupees, and then haggling, and somewhere near fifteen they would agree. Both were happy: my grandfather was happy because he was getting five rupees, and the other man was happy because he has brought my grandfather down five rupees.
I used to sit, when I was free, just outside the shop. And when the man was leaving, very happy that he had haggled well, I would say, “You are a fool! This thing that you have purchased costs only ten rupees, and if you had purchased it from my father you would have got it for twelve rupees, because he would not ask more than that. You have lost three rupees, and you are still looking happy.”