The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all directions.
A flower’s fragrance is not much good on its own; it depends on the wind to carry it. Even so, it only spreads in the direction of the wind. Those untouched by the wind remain unaware of this scent. However, this does not hold true for a person’s good deeds.
You see, unlike the unidirectional nature of fragrance, our kind deeds tend to have a domino effect – they not only boost our goodwill, but also have the potential to become vehicles of positive change in the society. While a flower needs a catalyst in wind, even which has a limited influence, a man’s goodness speaks and stands out for itself. It is dispersed in all directions, motivating like-minded individuals everywhere to follow in his footsteps. Even a dozen inspired individuals can inspire another hundred men, and so on.
This is not to say that one must begin advertising their good deeds. As idealistic as it might sound to some people, a kind act is one done without expecting any reward in return – even in the form of appreciation. Otherwise, there is little difference between service and business. Ideally, our acts of kindness must be spoken of and lauded by others – not at our behest, but of their own accord. It is them who must willingly bang the drum for our benevolence. Only then can one’s goodness bring about a tangible social change, and not come across as hollow chest thumping.
Chanakya was an Indian philosopher, politician, economist and strategist. Also known as Kautilya and Vishnugupta, Chanakya once said: “The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all directions.”