A few years back, I had gone to the Badrinath Temple. As I stood in an hour long queue to enter the temple, I observed something interesting.
Just to set the context (for the uninitiated), this temple is either very far or very very far from almost all the places in India. To get there, you have to take up a really long journey. Now, all these people who were standing outside the temple gate waiting to get in should be really focused only on the God, right? Otherwise, what’s the point of taking up such a long journey and going to the Badrinath temple (of all the places). Yea, it has a beautiful setting but then there are other places which are more accessible and no less in beauty.
However, what I observed was something different. Some people had their mind on how they could jump the queue. And 80% of those in the queue were concerned with other people jumping the queue. Now, remember, these people have taken up days of journey to get here. But now that they are here, right at the temple door, what concerns them is not what they came here for. It’s the queue. And some other petty stuff like chattering with person standing next to you or peeping into the nearby shops selling useless stuff.
And I wondered why this purpose-less-ness among these people who took such an arduous journey and now wasting everything away because they can’t remember what they are here for.
And then I wondered if I had not been guilty of the same purpose-less-ness at that moment. I had also traveled a long distance to be at that temple. And now that I was at the temple, my mind was occupied with observing what other people’s mind was occupied with.
It was an Aha! moment for me. One thing I realized was that there is always a bigger purpose regardless of the situation you are in but it is extremely difficult to cut through the immediate environment and remain aligned to that purpose. And another thing that I realized was how we picture ourselves as smarter than others even though we might be doing the same stupid thing as others are doing :)