Thursday, July 25, 2013


Self Approval is more important than Approval of Others

Ancient Wit and Wisdom

Mulla Nasrudin and his son were travelling with their donkey.

Nasrudin preferred to walk while his son sat on the donkey.

Soon they passed a group of bystanders.

One of the bystanders scoffed: “Look at that selfish boy. The hale-and–hearty young son is riding on the donkey while his poor old father is forced to walk alongside. What disgraceful behaviour? And it is so disrespectful. What a horrible and spoiled child!”

Mulla Nasrudin and his son felt very embarrassed by these comments.

So they quickly switched places.

Now Mulla Nasrudin rode on the donkey while his son walked alongside.

Soon they passed another group of people. 

One of them exclaimed pointing to Mulla Nasrudin: “Oh, just look at that! Have you ever seen such detestable behaviour? That poor young boy has to walk while his shameless father rides the donkey. That horrible man should be ashamed of himself for the way he is treating his son. What a heartless father! It is appalling!”

Nasrudin was extremely upset to hear this. 

He wanted to avoid anybody else’s scorn.

So Nasrudin decided that both he and his son would ride the donkey at the same time.

So Mulla Nasrudin asked his son to mount and sit along with him on the donkey.

Now both Mulla Nasrudin and his son sat on the donkey.

As they both rode on the donkey, they passed another group of people. 

One of them said: “Terrible, terrible. Just look at those two sitting on that hapless donkey. That man and his son are so cruel. Have you ever seen such sadists? See how they are forcing that poor donkey to bear the weight of two people. They have no consideration for the hapless mute animal. Cruel merciless scoundrels, that’s what they are!”

Nasrudin heard this stinging comment and told his son: “I guess the only way we can avoid the criticism of others is for both of us to get down and walk.”

“I suppose you are right,” the son replied.

So they got off the donkey.

Then, both of them, father and son, started walking on foot.

But as they passed another group of people, they heard them laughing and jeering: “Ha, ha, ha. Just look at those two fools. They are so stupid that both of them are walking under this scorching hot sun and neither of them is riding the donkey…! Have you ever seen such stupid idiots…? What morons…!”

Now whatever Mulla Nasrudin and his son did, someone or the other found fault and made fun of them.

The criticism and comments of people continued forever, iterating and reiterating.

Mulla Nasrudin was fed up. 

It was just not possible to satisfy everyone. 

Whatever he did, he was adversely criticized by someone or the other.

In the end the exasperated Mulla Nasrudin and his son were finally seen carrying the donkey on their own heads.

And now, everyone was laughing at Mulla Nasrudin and his Son as they watched the father-son duo carry the donkey on their head…!


Whenever you do something there will be three types of reactions:

1. Some people will praise your actions

2. Some people will criticize your actions

3. Some people will ignore your actions

If you are worried about what what other people think about your actions then you will become obsessed with seeking approval of others.

You will be always worried about pleasing others. 

You will succumb to peer pressure. 

Your actions will be guided by what other people would think or say.

If you keep worrying about what people will say (Log Kya Kahenge) you will fall victim to the LOG KYA KAHENGE syndrome. 

Attempting to please everyone is very stressful.

It is not possible to please all the people all the time.

So whatever you do, someone is likely to criticize you action.

If you want to be happy, you must always try and ensure that you live your life in such a way that your happiness is dependent upon things in your control

Once you fall victim to the LOG KYA KAHENGE syndrome, you will be afflicted by The Disease to Please 

Now, your happiness will be in the hands of other people - your happiness will no longer be under your own control. 

If you live in such a way that your happiness is dependent upon things beyond your control, you will be a puppet in the hands of other people, a slave to external circumstances and you will have to dance to the tune of outside entities.

While it is good to take feedback, you must not be swayed by the opinions of other people because a time may come when your actions will be governed by what other people think and you will fall victim to the disease to please.

Therefore, rather than get swayed by what other people say, it is best to act in accordance with your own conscience and do what you feel is best.

Listen to your inner voiceseek your own approval and act in accordance with your own conscience. 

Close your eyes, reflect, and think of instances when you were overcome by the Disease to Please or Peer Pressure or the need to conform

When you do something, do you always worry about  Log Kya Kahenge ... लोग क्या कहेंगे ?

Why do you succumb to peer pressure? 

Why do you try to conform? 

Why do you crave for the approval of others?

Remember the lyrics of that meaningful song from the movie Amar Prem:

कुछ तो लोग कहेंगे , लोगों का काम है कहना 

Kuch to log kahenge, logon ka kam hai kehna

You must resolve right now:

I will never worry about what others will think or say. 

I will not succumb to Peer Pressure. 

I will not fall victim to the Disease to Please. 

I will not try to conform or seek the approval of anyone and everyone.

I will seek my own approval for my actions.

Yes, that is most important - Seek your own approval - that is the approval that matters most. 

Do what you think is right and you will be happy.

You must follow the spirit of an inspirational quote by Swami Vivekananda: 

Perform your actions, good or bad, and never think of them again. What is done is done.

Get rid of the Log Kya Kahenge Syndrome.

Your happiness will be in your control and not dependent on the approval of others.

So, Dear Reader, the next time you are overcome by the disease to please and feel governed by a desire to seek approval of others for something you want to do and if you feel like pleasing others to the detriment of your own needs, just remember this witty story of Mulla Nasrudin and his son carrying their donkey on their heads.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013. All Rights Reserved

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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Unknown said...

Lovely post Vikram Sir!!! Did teach a lot :)

Unknown said...

Loved the story..really awesome story teller you are!!

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ cynthia - glad you like stories - every story has a message - whether it is a teaching story or fiction

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ juzta mum - thank you - well, yes I love telling stories and spinning yarns