Sticking Out

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My thoughts this morning went in the direction of St Peter's Basilica. As one faces Bernini's baldacchino under the cupola, on its right in the nave of the Basilica is a statue of St Peter seated which attracts thousands of visitors. The statue, unlike those placed high up, is within reach. Moreover, Peter's right foot sticks out and over the years has been the victim of devotional or emotional erosion! So many devotees and pilgrims with such accessible ease have touched, kissed or leaned on that foot to take a picture, that it has lost its form and figure. The toes cannot be distinguished any more. They have been eaten away. Is that the price one must pay for sticking out?

Whatever sticks out gets touched and eroded. Does it not? That is why many a times at meetings,
participants remain mute preferring to observe a diplomatic silence and not make known their minds lest they "stick out" and get "eroded". They are afraid to stand up and be counted. Perhaps, they have benefits to gain from not sticking out," the benefit of "self-preservation". But truth is like a fire within the marrow of one's bones. It must out. Truth is neither pleasant nor palatable. But it is necessary, as necessary as the surgeon's scalpel that must cut and hurt only to heal. It is better to speak the truth with love and be at peace with oneself, even if in the process of doing so one gets "eroded," than to suppress the truth within oneself and remain "intact and untouched," and with some dubious and devious compromise, appear to be at peace with others but disturbed within.

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