Doing something because it is being done
elsewhere is a sign of ignorance. The programmes
must satisfy a local need, solve a local difficulty.
They must arise out of felt needs and should be
adapted to local conditions. It must be taken into
consideration whether the place concerned is urban or rural, industrial or agricultural, a pilgrim centre or civic extension, a developing area or a sinking economy, a tribal settlement or a hill station.
The person who borrows some idea from another region and executes it might feel satisfied that he or she has achieved some concrete programme. But do the people whom he or she
tried to benefit feel better and happier? That is the test. Do not think of the fame or praise you win. Think of the good that people derive. Do not crave for publicity. Crave for the joy that shines in
the faces of the people whom you help. Sevā (selfless service) brings you nearer to Me. The flower that is your heart gets fragrance by means of the sevā you do and so it becomes more acceptable to Me. Love is the essence of that fragrance.
SSS 13.18: November 14, 1975