Give Up One Vice

Give Up One Vice

The younger generation of today has by and large, a deficiency of values. A large number of youngsters are into drinking, smoking, drugs etc. The prevalent life style encourages youngsters to throw tantrums, get angry, go to nightclubs, tell lies to parents, have pre-marital sex, cheat and even kill for the thrill! Going to a temple, a church, a gurudwara or a mosque is sacrilegious!

One such young boy called Alex went to the church, one Sunday. The preacher delivered a sermon on how the vices bring about our downfall. He said, “Children, it is very difficult to correct yourself. But if you can bring yourself to give up just one of your vices, you can make a start towards a good life. One by one, all your vices shall automatically leave you. When are you going to stop bothering about what the world thinks and start bothering about what GOD thinks about you?”
Alex heard the sermon. He happened to be very disturbed that day. He decided to try out the advice of the preacher. After the service was over, he went to the confession box and said softly, “I have many vices. I promise to give up one of them. I am addicted to alcohol and cigarettes and doubt if I can give them up. I have no control over my anger. But from today, I shall stop telling lies. Please help me God!”

Alex made a beginning. Later in the day, he was out with his friends. They asked him, “Alex, where were you this morning? All of us went to the Café.” Alex opened his mouth, “Oh! I went to ….” How could he tell them that he had gone to Church? They would laugh at him! But he had made a promise, not to lie…

“I went to the Church,” he said demurely. “The … what?” they chorused. “The Church,” he said firmly. Some of them guffawed. Others sniggered and looked amused. Alex looked the other way and managed to swallow his pride.

In the evening, his mother asked him how much he had spent that week. She usually asked for an account of his weekly expenses over petrol, food, stationery, etc. Alex was in the habit of giving her an account with inflated figures. Every week he would hike up the account a little so that he could buy himself some alcohol and a couple of cigarettes. Mom never suspected anything. Now, she was asking for the week’s account. What should he do? How should he give her the wrong figures? He was under oath not to lie. For the first time, he gave her the correct amount. She raised her eyebrows, “Alex, you’ve been very thrifty this week. That’s wonderful son!” She gave him the amount he had spent and a hug too! That unnerved him!

Now, there was no extra money with him. So the following week, he had no money to buy himself a single alcoholic drink. No money for cigarettes too! He found that he was sleeping better. As a result, he was not getting cranky and had no cause for throwing tantrums.

Two months later, a much happier Alex stood outside the confession box again. He said, “I have come to thank you, for making me a different person. I didn’t know that all it took was giving up just one vice. The rest of them just walked out of the doorway. I just had to show the way out to the first one, the rest of them followed suit.”

Bhagwan Baba often says, “Take just one step towards me, I shall take a hundred towards you.”