“To Grow in Spirit, Both as Individuals and an Organization, We Must Develop the Sattvic Qualification of Being Able to Delay” Gratification”
To grow in spirit, both as individuals and an organization, we must develop the sattvic qualification of being able to delay gratification. This discipline is one of the indispensable tools for problem-solving. Lasting solutions to problems call for the capacity to delay gratification. Otherwise, we make patchwork solutions, and the problems grow in complexity, until they become crises. Enough of these in rapid succession, or occurring simultaneously, can have a devastating effect on either the person, resulting in a nervous breakdown, or on the organization, resulting in a breakdown of morale. This has happened already in various degrees throughout ISKCON, most devastatingly in America.
Typically, a person develops a strategy for solving a problem, and when the solution does not give the outcome sought, the same strategy is applied again and again. This is like the fly that spends the day banging into the closed half of the window, when the other half is wide open. What the fly needs to do is try a different strategy.
In other words, one needs to be flexible in one’s approach to problem-solving. First the problem must be well-defined, just like disease must be correctly diagnosed before a cure can be sought. If a problem is well-defined, but our strategy fails to give us the outcome we want, we must change our strategy.
Srila Prabhupada many times demonstrated this capacity to reassess a problem, and approach it in a different manner. The fundamental requirement in problem-solving, however, before one can apply flexibility in strategy, is the ability to delay gratification. In the next three chapters, other tools of problem-solving are discussed.
Quotes applicable to this discussion:
- The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it. –Brendan Francis
- Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. –Aldous Huxley
- If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs maybe you do not understand the problem. — Anon
- The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that is the essence of inhumanity. –G.B. Shaw
- Two things indicate weakness–to be silent when it is proper to speak and to speak when it is proper to be silent. –Persian Proverb
- Character is what you are in the dark. –Dwight L. Moody