Question: When several individuals form a committee to do a project, you have five different people discussing something with their own backgrounds and ideas. And in the U.N., you might have five different countries or even more discussing one topic, each country with its own firm belief. What is the best course to follow in such cases?

Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes, as an individual, you have an idea. Then, a few minutes later, you develop or create another idea. Then, if you wait for a day or two, you create or develop or become fully aware inwardly — not outwardly — of a better idea. In this way, the same individual is approached by different ideas at various times. You cannot say that each new idea you get is better than the previous ones. In the morning, you have an idea to achieve something in one way, and in the afternoon you have another idea to achieve that thing in a different way. But the idea you get in the evening need not be the better one.

So, if there are five members on a committee, each individual should try to dive deep within and see if, at any time, he can agree with the idea offered by somebody else. Right now, he is fighting for his own suggestion. But a few days later it may happen that he himself will have the same views that he is now opposing. But if you have established your oneness with the other members, then at least you will try to understand their viewpoint, and see if there is any truth in it. Then, you can see if your idea is really the best, or if somebody else’s idea is really the best.

Look at five ideas as five fruits. One idea may be more mature, more practical, than the others. Everybody wants to eat the ripe fruit. But if everybody wants to eat the ripe fruit, then everyone has to look carefully at the fruits that are available. If there are five fruits, some will be unripe. Nobody wants to eat the unripe fruits. Only the idea that is most ripe and delicious you will eat. Just because one person has brought the ripe one, it does not mean that only he will eat the ripe fruit and that he will deny it to others. Others also will have equal share of the fruit that someone has brought. No matter who has offered an idea, let the others have an equal opportunity to apply that idea to their own lives. Then, no matter who has got the fruit, as long as everybody is allowed to eat it, as long as everybody is ready to share it, then the fruit will become everybody’s property. This way you can have a feeling of oneness.