Part II

On shyness1

When we see a little child who is extremely shy, we feel that this child is very cute. Unfortunately, from the spiritual point of view, shyness is not a good quality at all. When you express shyness, you outwardly pretend to be what you are not, and you inwardly try to draw all the world’s admiration and attention. Shyness is only a clever way of achieving something. Instead of giving something natural and normal to the world, you try to attract attention by becoming abnormal.

Some things die in themselves; they do not create other feelings. But shyness is not like that. Shyness does not end in shyness. From shyness comes sulkiness, and after sulkiness a kind of destructive quality comes. I strongly feel that the more we encourage children to be shy, the slower their progress becomes. Shyness is something that must be overcome if a child is to be spontaneous, free and natural and if they are to be loved by all and sundry. This opinion of mine is founded upon my personal observation while dealing with my students all over the world.

  1. SCA 550. In 1997 Sri Chinmoy was asked to submit his views on shyness for a forthcoming book entitled Instruction Book for the Shy, to be published by Simon & Schuster.