radhanath swamiQuestion: There is a lot of inequality and injustice in the world. Some people want to change this, but they feel that one individual is so small and the impact that one individual can bring to the world is so small. Thinking like this they end up doing nothing. So from your perspective, what should be the right attitude or mentality for those people who really want to help to make a change to these inequalities and injustices?

Radhanath Swami: In the world we live, we are almost indoctrinated to value quantity over quality: ‘How big? How much? But the heart values quality, not necessarily quantity.

In the Ramayana, one of the great scriptures of India, there is the story of a bridge being built across the Indian Ocean. To build the bridge, Hanuman – who was an extremely powerful incredible warrior and who had such deep love for Lord Rama – was bringing gigantic rocks from the mountains that weighed tons. His beloved Lord Rama, who was walking behind him, happened to see Hanuman stop because there was a little squirrel. The squirrel jumped in the water, rolled around in sand and shook his body to make the little grains of sand go on the bridge. Hanuman didn’t want to step on the squirrel; so he told the squirrel, “Please move”. And Rama said, “That squirrel is doing as much as you. As you’re doing your capacity to help, that little squirrel was doing his capacity. For me it’s equal. I don’t see the results. I see the intent.”

What’s important is our purpose, our cause. Even if we could just do a little something for just a few people, in God’s eyes that is a gigantic accomplishment. Every single one of us can make an incredibly beautiful difference in the world we live in and that’s what gives life meaning. If we think, “I’m so small. I can’t make a difference,” then we won’t make a difference. But if we can even help one person in our life, that is a tremendous accomplishment, greater than winning the World Cup or being a world champion. The quality is really important and we could all make a difference, big or small.