“Ultimately, Our Mission is to Bring Out the Best in People, and Offer It for the Lord’s Devotional Service. Let us Defy History and Avoid the Tragedy of all Great Religions”
Srila Prabhupada said that if we were to realize one verse of the Bhagavad-gita completely, we can understand the whole book. Similarly, to understand and apply any one of the above principles, will empower anyone to be a better leader in many spheres. My conviction is that despite all the negative considerations discussed in this book, we can make ISKCON all that it can be. If we begin soberly, and methodically addressing the problems we face, and follow the basic principles of problem-solving, we can muster the teamwork neccessary to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s vision. That is the reason we joined ISKCON—to participate in the team effort of the sankirtana mission of Lord Caitanya, our mission.
Ultimately, our mission is to bring out the best in people, and offer it for the Lord’s devotional service. When we focus on bringing out the best in each other, ISKCON will automatically soar. ISKCON will be the best that it can be. We have to focus on the individual. We have to value the individual. ISKCON is made up of individuals. We have to feel every one of them is important. Every one one of them has a contribution to make. No devotee is dispensible. We should not create an atmosphere that runs anyone off. If people leave of their own volition that is different, but we should value every devotee, regardless of race, social standing, education, intellect or whatever. Without being sentimental, we must learn to act on the belief that our first duty is to bring out the best in the other person.
If we do that, who will want to leave the association of devotees?
Srila Prabhupada was expert at bringing out the best in people and we must model our spiritual life after his example. We must be confident that when we orient ourselves to bringing out the best in others, that brings out the best in us, automatically. If our leaders try to bring out the best in us, we will reciprocate by bringing out the best in them. This is the failsafe law of human nature. It is a dynamic we can establish not only with leaders, but with each other—with friends, family members, with everybody with whom we interact.
Let us defy history and avoid the tragedy of all great religions. Let us keep our true mission from slipping to the secondary position, by making the consolidating of power our first priority. Let us learn the lessons from history and not fall into the same predictable pattern of going to a new Promised Land. Let us make ISKCON all that it can be as our ultimate centennial offering to Srila Prabhupada. Rather than simply glorify him, let us serve his vision. That will be the best glorification, the best commemoration, the best offering.
We close with this sobering thought:
We may not be able to change everything we face;
but we cannot change anything unless we face it.