Chapter 31: Democracy Means Mediocracy
Do something that comes out of you - not to assert, but to express! Sing your song, dance your dance, rejoice in being whatever nature has chosen you to be.
If we can destroy the inferiority complex.which is very simple: the teachers and the parents just have to be aware not to impose themselves on the helpless children. And just within two decades the new generation will be free of the inferiority complex. And with it will go all politics, all presidents and all prime ministers. And their going will be such a great relief!
People will express their creativity. There will be musicians, there will be dancers, there will be painters, carpenters. There will be all sorts of creativity around the world. But nobody is competing with anybody else; he is simply doing his best. It is his joy. The joy is not in competing, the joy is not in coming first; the joy is in doing it. It is not outside the act, it is intrinsic to the act.
That’s my image of the new man. He works, but his work is his life, his very soul. Whatever he does, it does not matter.
I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln. When he became the president of America, his father was a shoemaker. And, naturally, egoistic people were very much offended that a shoemaker’s son should become the president. They were aristocrats, super-rich, who thought that it was their birthright to be in the highest post. A shoemaker’s son?
On the first day, as Abraham Lincoln entered to give his presidential inaugural address, just in the middle one man stood up. He was a very rich aristocrat. He said, “Mr. Lincoln, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for my family.” And the whole senate laughed; they thought that they had made a fool of Abraham Lincoln.
But Lincoln - and that type of person - is made of a totally different mettle. Lincoln looked at the man and said, “Sir, I know that my father used to make shoes in your house for your family, and there will be many others here.because the way he made shoes, nobody else can. He was a creator. His shoes were not just shoes, he poured his whole soul in it. I want to ask you, have you any complaint? - because I know how to make shoes myself; if you have any complaint I can make another pair of shoes. But I know that nobody has ever complained about my father’s shoes. He was a genius, a great creator, and I am proud of my father!”
The whole senate was struck dumb. They could not understand what kind of man Abraham Lincoln was. He had made shoemaking an art, a creativity. And he was proud because his father did the job so well that not even a single complaint had ever been heard. And even though he was the president of America, he was ready to make another pair if there was any complaint.
The man looked silly. Lincoln insisted, “You have to speak! Why have you become dumb? You wanted to make me a fool, and now, look all around: you have made a fool of yourself.”