When I was reading in primary school, before commencement of the class, we used to sing a prayer song daily - "O Lord, we thank you for giving us food and all that we need. Help us to serve you". Again, when I was a high school student, in addition to the usual academic subjects, the teachers used to deliver lectures on various topics to enhance our general knowledge. In one such lectures, the teacher explained as to how service to humanity could be a service to the Almighty God. They had deep impact on me till today. When I became a Minister in 1974, I displayed a bill-board prominently on my table with inscriptions "Service to God through mankind" with the hope that those who come to my office would take home the spirit behind it.

            As a citizen, we are all called to build up our communities. It is a simple fact that we need one another as members of the human family. We are accountable to, and for, our community. We cannot ignore the call to social justice, if we are to fulfill our obligations. Therefore, a good neighbour is a good citizen. In order to render services to humanity more effectively, voluntary organisations (non-governmental organisations) are very essential. Knowing the importance of voluntary services, the great Chinese leader, Mao-Tse-Tung said, "Let a thousand Flowers bloom". In fact, our entire democratic system is based on voluntary organisations. Voluntarism is based on the philosophy of treating the whole mankind as one family. Voluntarism should have no room for differences of religion, region, race, caste, creed, colour. Just as all members of one family are not alike, members of our whole human family have their differences made out by nature. Voluntarism underlines and emphasises the universal unity behind this human diversity. Those who are actively associated with any voluntary organisations should be considered as those who have accepted the ideal of service as the real basis. This is aimed at attaining success and happiness in personal and community life. In Mizoram, we have a number of voluntary organisations involving large number of dedicated persons, rendering invaluable services to humanity. All such services rendered through love are services to God through mankind. I do not think anyone who helps or renders services to the needy through love ever regret doing so, because God rewards for such services.


            God gives us blessings in various forms - some in the form of wealth, some in the form of good health, some in the form of skill and so on. The best way of thanking God is to share His blessings with fellow human-beings. The greatest teachings of all religions of this world is "Love" - love of fellow human-beings. The late Mother Teresa rightly said "Religion is Love". "Love" is clearly defined in the Bible - "Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not rejoice in wrong-doing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hope all things, endures all things. Love never ends". The Mizo "Tlawmngaihna" and the spirit of "Sem-sem-dam-dam, Ei-bil-thi-thi" are also born out of love.


            During the course of my visit to a hospital run by the Ram Krishna Mission, I noticed that over a hundred doctors were working voluntarily in the hospital, when they were not on their paid duties elsewhere. This means that those doctors shared God's blessings (their medical skill and good health) with their fellow human-beings. This way they were serving God through mankind. In the same hospital was a cancer patient, with an attendant, from Bangladesh, who was advised by the doctors to return home as the case was hopeless. They had no money to meet the travel expenses. A certain Mizo lady doctor, who had been saving her income for her birthday party, paid for the fare and food for the two at the expense of her birthday party. What a beautiful gesture.


            One Mizo officer gave Rs. 4,000/- to a certain YMA on Christmas eve to help out the poor in the locality so that those poor people could have a pleasant time during the festival. This was his way of thanking God for the blessings showered on him by sharing the blessings with his fellow human-beings. All those services confirmed what our Lord, Jesus Christ said "Truely I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least, you did it to me". (Mat. 25:40)


            Some years back, a friend and I came by road in a Jeep from Delhi. Not far from Siliguri, the vehicle engine stopped and we could not proceed further. The sun was setting, and we were in the area where people were advised not to travel at night for security reasons. We felt quite helpless. In desperation, I went to the nearby village with the hope of getting a mechanic. Fortunately, one mechanic came forward, followed me to the place where the jeep was stranded. He checked the mechanism of the jeep, and after about 15 minutes could start the jeep. We were overjoyed. I offered to pay for his services rendered to us, but the mechanic flatly refused the offer, but said "Thank you" and went away after we expressed our gratitude. Perhaps, the mechanic was happy for sharing his skill to help fellow human-beings in distress. He knew very well that we were strangers and that he was unlikely to meet us again. Yet he offered his service gratis.


            During the course of my visit to the garden city of Bangalore, I noticed inscriptions in big letters in the Civil Secretariat which read "Government's work is God's work". This is true, because all that the Government do is for the good of the State and the people. The Government's works are, therefore, very much a service to God through mankind, if carried out sincerely.


            Universal brotherhood, non-violence, truth and social harmony are the need of today. As a citizen, it is our duty to be hospitable towards our neighbours, strangers and all those who are in need of assistance. We should, therefore, always keep in mind the welfare of all humanity. We can truly rejoice only when the poor and the under-privileged rejoice with us. After all, our security is based on our relationship with God and fellow human beings.



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