In Shakespearean’s words, ‘Some Cupid kills with arrows and some with traps’
Cupids or No Cupids, we are nonetheless encountered with several such traps in our daily lives – Be it professional or personal. Does the Gandhian principle of Honesty still hold water in a world governed by diplomacy and self-interest?
I try and seek answers from the Bible whenever in doubt. In these lines of thought, an interesting incident comes to my memory. Here goes the story – The city of Jerusalem stood in cudgels against a local prostitute called Mary Magdalene. The self-proclaimed Holy Pharisees outrightedly declared her a shame to the pious little town and wanted to stone her to a rightfully shameful death. As she was being cursed and mentally crucified by all the local guardians of a pious culture, Jesus came to her rescue. A very unlikely supporter of a whore, the Son of God Himself took her by his side and shielded her from the heartless angry crowd. Jesus taught us not to judge lest we be judged by the Father Himself. He challenged the city of Jerusalem to question their hearts and if any of them believed they were truly blameless by the Scriptures and their conscience, they were free to come forward and stone Mary Magdalene. Jesus’ words pricked the hearts of the people of Jerusalem and they had no choice but to quietly resign themselves to quiet submission. It didn’t mean that Jesus approved of Mary Magdalene’s ways. After the hypocritical crowd left, he told her in private to let go of her past and lead a new life in the ways of the Father. He blessed her with all his heart and willed for a good life. Why did Jesus stand for someone whose ways he didn’t approve of? In Jesus eyes, Mary was a good lady at heart. He didn’t allow himself to judge her by the eyes of the world - neither by her background, her past, her profession or her attire or the lack of it. He simply saw her good heart that was willing to change for the better.
Over 2000 years later, we have theories and several presumed facts that challenge the foundations of Christianity by the likes of Dan Brown. Its founder comes under the spotlight. What was the real relationship between Christ & Mary Magdalene? Could there be more than that which meets the eye? Is there a clever conspiracy hidden by the Catholic church?
Contextual to the Christ’s quote ‘Your ways are not my ways’, we can only think in the worldly ways. A relationship between a man and woman is always held under great suspicion. How then can poor Christ be spared from this worldly allegation? For coming in mere defense of Mary Magdalene, Christ let himself vulnerable to baseless speculations and rumours. Cut 2000 years later, we have a reigning best seller thriving on the alleged illegitimate relationship between Christ & Mary Magadalene. And a whole lot of us refuse to believe any otherwise.
Not surprising since the human imagination runs far and wild - a la Eve whose imagination was triggered by the serpent’s temptations to eat the apple and attain the greatness of God Himself. And by nature, the human mind is untrusting and full of doubts and fears – a la Joseph who was conspiring to secretly divorce and disown Mary when he learnt she was pregnant and to save himself and his family from future embarrassment till the Angel of the Lord had appeared to him and informed him of God’s will.
I won’t get into the argument of whether there’s some truth behind Dan Brown’s book since that is not the purpose of this article. On the note that some things in life are guided by pure faith and trust, I would like to carry this article to the next level in the true belief that there was no alleged conspiracy of any kind in the place. For the simple reason, I am of firm opinion if Christ had the courage and the nerve to be nailed and brutally thorned on the cross and die for other’s sins, he would have the equal nerve to acknowledge a relationship with any woman on the face of this earth or beyond.
Coming back to the fundamental question that we need to deal with in this article – Does it still pay to be really open and honest? Do we have to subjugate ourselves to fit into the idealistic realms of societal norms?
When Christ himself whose life was an open book was not spared of hard hitting allegations during his time and after, how much more mere mankind?
So where does one draw the line and balance out the act of being fortright without being vulnerable to manipulations by self-interest seeking fellowmen? Or is it too idealistic an approach to seek for in the first place?
At this crucial juncture of finding an answer to this question, I am strongly reminded of one of my father’s golden words of wisdom. Not because he happens to be my father but because I believe in the simplicity of solutions. He tells me very simply and rightfully as I would like to believe so – ‘Be politically correct in your professional dealings and Be frank and sincere in your personal relationships’
Being my father’s daughter and as an ode to his wonderful words of enormous wisdom, I will stick to his pearly words till the day I breathe my last.