* Value


As told by J.C.Kumarappa...

In Travancore, they make beautiful soft white mats made from split screw pine leaves. Once while on the tour in that locality, we halted to inspect the mat makers. The head mat weaver of the village came to explain the various process in which the whole family comes together for this mat weaving. Then we were led to a few houses to see others also at work. All the time the head mat weaver chanting " why is it our industry does not flourish at present as it did in the times of our father who, following this very occupation became wealthy enough to build a house, while we, cannot even afford to repair them? "

After going through all the processes, by midday our mat weaver requested us to accept his hospitality, hence we went to his house.

While we were having a wash, he got the verandah prepared for us to sit down but still kept reciting the same old query about the decay of the industry. Just then he called us to take our seats. I was shown the seat in the middle, being considered as chief guest and my companions on either side. For them the hand-woven pine mats and for me something else. I exclaimed " I now know why your industry is languishing. The fault lies in your scale of values." He implored me to explain and so I asked him " Where did you get this mat that has spread to me which has a tiger printed on it?" He said "That is a Japanese mat bought in a bazaar" I then explained " Considering me the principal guest, you thought of honoring me by seating me on this Japanese mat more than your own product. If you yourself do so, can you blame others doing likewise? If everybody follows your method and buys foreign articles, won't you also be the culprit?"

With folded hands, he accepted the reasoning and replaced the Japanese mat by the one he had made it himself.

Here is a small picture of what is happening in our country. The money value is most often the least important of all considerations, although frequently it is the sole factor that affects our decisions. No act of a single individual ends with an isolated transaction. It has its repercussions right through society, though many of us do not have our sight trained to perceive what follows in its train.  

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