Tuesday, January 15, 2013

OUR DEVIL'S-ADVOCATES



















In a broad sense, to live well in this world – effectively, successfully and peacefully – we need to ‘sell well’ – sell ourselves, sell our ideas, plans, proposals, dreams… our products and services… Yes, to ‘others’.

Just imagine how true it is: Are we all not trying to do exactly that all our lives?

The ‘others’ – our ‘prospective customers’ - can be any of these: our parents, children, spouses, siblings or any relatives… They can be our neighbors, strangers, government officials, co-passengers, our teachers or students; they can be our colleagues or bosses, our competitors or clients, our well-wishers or critics… Yes, anybody.

If life is about living with all of these… then, we had better be good in human relationship...

‘Others’ don’t buy easily… just as we, too, don’t buy from them easily.

They raise ‘objections’ – say ‘No’ – for whatever we try to sell, promote, propose to them… Just as we do every time they try to sell, promote and propose something to us…

So, in Life, to live well, we need to sell well… And, to sell well, we need to handle the ‘objections’ – their reasons for NO – well…

I have been teaching right since my college days – more than thirty-five years, now! And, you know how it is when you are a teacher – that too in your own set-up - for such a long time! It is always a one-way traffic… You teach (preach!!!) and your students (disciples) listen… Let me put it this way: You sell and they buy…Yes, whether they like it or not!

So, I sometimes go around in the world outside my classroom – including my own home – trying to sell in my familiar way… I expect them to buy my ideas, plans, dreams, suggestions, my opinions and arguments easily… without raising any objections… without any arguments or resistance…

Let me tell you, though it is not possible for me to sell that way – except to my ‘very obedient' (or hapless?) students - I keep believing and keep attempting…

Yes, till the reality check is complete!

Human relationship – including a teacher-student one – can not be, and should not be, a one-way-traffic…

Invariably, I travel a long-rough route to accumulate this piece of wisdom!

I am a Roman Catholic and I grew up not just worshiping the Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit… and not just Mother Mary – but also our hundreds of Saints. I worshiped these Saints, blindly, without even knowing about their lives – what was so saintly about them… I did not realize - that even though the whole world hailed them as the 'Living Saints’ while they lived in this world – how difficult it was even for the Supreme head of the Catholic Church, the Pope – to declare such a person after his/her death as a ‘Saint’. Even the Pope, with all his sweeping powers at his disposal, had to go through a long, rigorous process of ‘Canonization’ – the Sainthood. Though, in 1983, Pope John Paul II had eased out the process to Sainthood, for centuries on, even the holiest of the holy had to wait… before he or she was declared as a ‘Saint’…

Not before five years since the person had died…

Not before the holy person was kept in waiting by the Bishops as the ‘Servant of God’…

Not before the Church Official, a Postulator, declared the ‘Servant of God’ as the ‘Venerable’ after further investigation and wait…

Not before the ‘Venerable’ was ‘beatified’ as the ‘Blessed’ after another grueling long-process…

Not before the ‘Blessed’ soul was finally ‘Canonized’ as a ‘Saint’ by the Pope!

Oh yes, even this spiritual process of Beatification and Canonization had to pass through the for-and-against arguments. The Church had special advocates for the same. The one who argued in favor of the Sainthood was called the ‘God’s Advocate’… or by his official title, ‘    the Promoter of the Cause’. And, the one who argued bitterly against Sainthood was known as the 'Devil’s Advocate’…or by his official title, ‘the Promoter of Faith’!




Now, this is interesting: 

The role of the God’s Advocate was to argue

 passionately in favor of the Sainthood… 

justify, reason out, prove, show miracles 

and so on… 

Not an easy job!



And, the role of the Devil’s Advocate was to argue, equally passionately, against the Sainthood…His job was to take a skeptical view of the candidate's character, to look for holes in the evidence, to argue that any miracles attributed to the candidate were fraudulent, and so on…





  
So, even the Godliest of Godly saints could not by-pass the ‘objections’ – the ‘NO” – from the Devil’s Advocates to be crowned as ‘Saints’ by the all-powerful Pope! There was no one-way traffic even there!

Therefore, it is concluded, hereby, that, in Life, I should learn the art of selling myself well… I should learn to happily and efficiently deal with my own ‘Devil’s Advocates’…

Yes, yes, before I self-canonize myself as a ‘Saint’!



GERALD D’CUNHA

Pics.: Sanchita Choudhury




5 comments:

Vinay Shettigar said...

Brilliantly weaved! Lovely phrase this "Devil's Advocate'. Keep writing.
- Vinay

Nishta Punjabi said...

Thanks Gerry for voicing our very own feelings in ur Blog. Nishta

Urvashi Naik said...

People we love the most argue with us the most and that is how it had been always. They are indeed God's Advocates! Nice Post.
- Urvashi

Anonymous said...

Interesting post! Thank u. Seema

Anurag Mishra said...

simple things... beautifully told.
--- Anurag