I said, “That’s perfectly okay, but I don’t want to be an idiot and fit in everywhere. It is good to be an ‘unfit,’ but intelligent. And I have come to the school to learn intelligence, so I can be an unfit intelligently! Please never try again to change me from an individual into a cog in the wheel.”
And from the next day the caps disappeared; only he had come with a cap. And looking at the class and the school…because the new rule has come into force that caps are not compulsory, all other teachers, even the principal, had come without caps. He looked so idiotic. I said to him, “There is still time. You can take it off and put it in your pocket.” And he did it!
He said, “That’s right. If everybody is against the cap…I was simply being obedient to the law.”
I said, “The law is made by us. We can change it, without any anger. Can we not discuss each and everything intelligently?”
So remember, when I say disobedience I don’t mean replace obedience by disobedience. That will not make you better. I use the word disobedience only to make it clear to you that it is up to you, that you have to be the decisive factor of all your actions in life. And that gives tremendous strength, because whatever you do, you do with a certain rational support to it.
I entered the university, and the first question the vice-chancellor asked me was, “Why have you been growing your beard and mustache?” And it was in a way natural because no other student was doing that.
I said to him, “I have come here to see you for a scholarship, but I can risk the scholarship. I cannot risk a chance for an argument.”
He said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “I mean I should ask you why you have shaved your beard, your mustache. I have done nothing; they are growing by themselves. You have done something; you have not allowed them to grow – you are shaving twice a day. You owe me an explanation. What is the reason you are doing it?”
He said, “I have never thought about it…because everybody else was doing it I started doing it.”
I said, “That is not a very intelligent answer. You can think over it. I will come every day and knock on the door, so whenever you have found the answer you can give me the answer, and from that day I will start shaving.”
Three days only I had to go to his office to knock. On the fourth day he said to me, “Please excuse me, you have taken away my sleep. The whole day I am thinking about my beard and mustache, and the whole day I am looking at the door, thinking that you must be coming to knock. And sometimes I hear that there has been a knock, and I open the door and there is nobody, so I am hallucinating! You have made me so afraid! You simply take your scholarship and do whatever you want; it is your beard and your mustache. And just please forgive me that I asked you.”