PARAMAHAMSA SRI NITHYANANDA on Become responsible, Be a Leader! IN OUR lives we claim responsibility for anything good that happens, but we don’t take responsibility for anything bad that happens. Only if we take up responsibility for everything that happens in our lives will we start growing. Swami Vivekananda says: “Take as much responsibility as you can shoulder. The more responsibility you take, the more you expand. Expansion is the only growth; without expansion, you will contract and die.” A small story: Once a man was giving a talk on Responsibility at the Charity Club. He gave an example of what happened a few days earlier. He said, “A friend and I were walking down the street towards the park when we saw a helpless man lying unconscious on the road.” He paused and looked at the concerned faces of the audience. Then he continued, “Nobody had bothered to help him. Not only that, when we came back after our walk, the poor man was still lying there!” It never occurred to the man that he could help! Instead of blaming others, let us look into ourselves and see what we are doing to solve the problem! We always find fault with others. But how many times do we ourselves do something to address the issue? Understand: when we declare that we will do whatever we can for people, when we stand up with responsibility, we expand and the divine energy flows through us. Can air flow through a blocked bamboo? No! A blocked bamboo will only help carry a corpse to the graveyard. The same bamboo will become a flute when it is hollowed out! As long as you are self-centred, you will serve like the blocked bamboo. When you are free from ego and stand up with responsibility, the expansion happens and you become like the bamboo flute. Then, just as the air that enters the bamboo leaves it as music, so, too, will the air that enters you flow through you as energy, and things will happen through you! If you feel responsible for whatever is happening around you, you start transforming your life and others’ lives. Responsibility is one of the ways to consciously grow. You only need to do two things: trust that life is good and know that you can expand to the responsibilities that you take up. Most of us wait for the status to come in order to take up the responsibility. Be very clear, it never works that way. Only if you take up responsibility will the status come. The more responsibility you take up, the more you grow. Only when you feel responsible for all that is happening around you do you become a leader. Until then you are just a follower. Be Blissful!!