I had the opportunity to witness the presentation of a group of corporate representatives regarding the possibility of entering into a joint collaboration to upgrade and qualify our existing efforts in the educational field. These guys, I gathered, are thorough-bred professionals in their fields. Their lofty ideals and ideas were indeed very impressive and convincing. I am sure they gathered the weaknesses and strengths of our institutions and our strategies from their singular visit to Ramanthapur and the two-hour long interaction with us today. They were sharp in their observation of what we expressed and at the same time making sure that they conveyed their 'guarded views'.
Yet in and through all of this, I sat there observing and comparing ourselves with these two gentlemen. They were, in a sense, 'businessmen' - sure about who they were and what they were up to; we, on the other hand, neither sure of our charity nor professionalism. They clearly had financial profit and media fame on their mind (though they were careful not to harp on that!). We were groping for a way balancing our commitment to God (trust in Divine Providence?) and survival in a market-driven world. They had no one to account to and thereby arrive at decisions on their own; we, had to think, study (in groups, commissions, communities, councils...), discuss, get the approval of our superiors... (with no guarantee that by the time all of this is through, the confreres in the local community are sufficiently motivated to concretely carry forward this process). They were keen to kick start their plans right away; we go on as though we own time!
Final word: ... long way to go, dear confreres! Can't ride along complacent on past glory! Stand for something or we'll fall for anything!