God helps those who help themselves. The best kind of help comes from within. It suggests the supremacy of moral and spiritual strength. It generates self-confidence which leads us to the way of success. As we are social beings, we have to depend somewhat on others. But we should not always waste time waiting for help from others. We should remember that when we depend on others, we take the risk, because they may stop helping us at any time with or without warning. Moreover, others can help us once or twice or thrice. We cannot expect help whenever we are in need all throughout our life.
There are few examples of self-made men and countries before us. Bengal scholar Iswarchandra Vidyasagar was a self-made man who stood against his poverty and all sorts of obstacles that appeared in the course of his life. Michael Faraday began as a book-binder but turned to be one of the greatest scientists in the world. The history of human achievement is really a record of what a person can do himself. Great heroes, great scientists, great businessmen they are all self-made men. Thrown upon their own resources, they accept the challenge of life and develop new virtues, new qualities. Their latent powers awaken and flourish. They are even ready to take the initiative, always confident of finding a way out of difficulties. It is true for a country too. Japan, our Asian neighbour, has become a world power even after the massacre of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
It is said in Greek mythology that Hercules, the god of strength, does not help a person who sits idly and only prays. Once a carter fell in danger when the wheels of his cart got stuck in the mud. He sat on his knees and prayed to Hercules for help. But Hercules did not help him directly. He advised him to put his shoulders to the wheel and pull them. The Carter did so and the cart became free. Likewise, a beggar who lives on charity and does not try to help himself remains a beggar throughout his life. It cannot be a line to follow. The real path to follow, rather the greatest virtue that one should try to cultivate in life is the habit of self-reliance. A man who relies upon himself success a sort of glorious independence. But unfortunately, we are by nature somewhat fatalistic in our attitude. Our tendency is to depend too much on fate or help from some others. This habit destroys the springs of action. But if we have boldness and initiative, we may become the masters of our destiny. There are many who make their destiny by their own efforts. If we think poorly of our own abilities, if we look to others for help at every step, we cannot expect to be rated high. As a rule, the world estimates us as we estimate ourselves.
Of course, self-reliance does not mean that one should be proud of oneself. It should always go hand in hand with a proper feeling of manners. Another defect to be guarded against is selfishness. The self-reliant man should not be unwilling to accept help from others where it is really needed.
Not only in individual work, but we should also share our responsibility in teamwork too. Any teamwork may fail if we do not perform our own shares exactly. However, we should remember that God has given us head, heart and hands. We should fully utilise these gifts to enrich our lives. There is a vital role of self-reliance in the Indian context of today. India is now under tremendous pressure of unemployment. No government can provide employment to all the unemployed peoples. Self-help may be the only reasonable way to solve the problem of unemployment. So, in our country, the lesson of self-reliance is particularly needed. We must remember that an ounce of work is heavier than a ton of talks.