SIMPLE HEARTS IN SIMPLE DRESS
Do we become more respectable by wearing costly and colourful dress? Only the ignorant think that fine dress, gold and jewellery can win respect for them from all.
Of course, one should always wear clothes which are well-washed, neatly pressed and decent looking. But it is a mistake to think that we can earn respect from others by wearing costly and gaudy clothes. In fact, buying expensive dress and ornaments means only wasting money which could be used for the good of others.
Many great men of the world always wore simple dress and they were modest in behaviour. Indeed, this simplicity in dress and behaviour added to their greatness. Here are two examples:
Michael Faraday is the great scientist who invented the dynamo which gives electric light to our homes and power to our mills and factories. He never made any show of his greatness. Very often his simple dress and modest behaviour concealed from others his superb intelligence.
Once, an officer of the Royal Mint of England wanted to meet Faraday. He went to the office of the Royal Society of Science, and there someone directed him to a big room where Faraday conducted his experiments in science. When the visitor entered the room, an old man wearing brown trousers and a white shirt was washing bottles in a basin. The visitor asked him, “Are you the watchman of this Society?” “Yes,” said the old man looking at the visitor who was smartly dressed.
“How long have you been working here?” asked the visitor with curiosity. “Four years,” replied the old man coolly. “Are you quite satisfied with the wages they are paying you?” came the third question. “Of course, I am,” said the old man smiling this time.
“What’s your name, by the way?” asked the visitor with curiosity.
“They call me Michael Faraday,” was the old man’s reply.
The visitor was full of regrets and asked Faraday to pardon him for his serious mistake. “How simple is this great man,” said the visitor to himself. “Or is he great because he is so simple at heart?”
Gandhiji had started his national movement for India’s freedom from British rule. Wherever he went, he was hailed by crowds of people shouting loudly the famous slogan, ‘Mahatma Gandhi Ki Jai.’
One morning, Richard Cregg, an American admirer of Gandhiji’s brave struggle against foreign rule, came to Sabarmati Ashram to meet the great patriot. The Ashram office was yet to be opened. Cregg asked someone where he could see Gandhiji. He was told that Gandhiji was in the common dining hall. “May I go and see him there?” asked Cregg with some hesitation. “Surely you can,” came the reply. “He is alone in the hall.”
Cregg went cautiously to the dining hall, fearing that he might disturb Gandhiji while having his breakfast. But what did he see? The great freedom fighter of India was peeling vegetables for the morning meal. He was clad in a dhoti which came only up to the knee and a small shawl over the shoulders which covered his back. “Come in, come in,” said Gandhiji giving the visitor a broad smile and added, “I hope you do not mind my being occupied with these small things.”
The American was moved by what he saw and heard. Gandhiji’s simplicity and modesty attracted him like a magnet. The next moment, he was sitting close to Gandhiji, helping him in peeling the vegetables.
It is such great men having simple hearts and moving in simple dress who make the world a happier place for their fellowmen.
- Describe in your own words (a) good dress and (b) bad dress.
- What do you learn from the two stories?
- Who is happier, the one who is simple in behaviour and modest or the one who is serious, reserved and proud? Give reasons for your answer.