Verse 3.20: Kings such as Janaka attained perfection solely by performance of prescribed duties. Therefore, just for the sake of educating the people in general, you should perform your work.
Role models. We all need them. Their stories of struggle, perseverance and success often serve as bursts of inspiration for us when we experience times of frustration and apathy in our own lives.
Personally, I find that there is a real lack of true role models for the current generation that is growing up. Being exposed to instant forms of communication and media, younger persons can easily equate role models as those persons who fill up the airwaves and Twitter feeds. Constantly bombarded by "perfect" bodies, fairy tale relationships, fame, money, and the accumulation of material possessions, it can be easy for one to think that the attainment of such goals is what life is all about.
The beauty of yoga is that while it addresses the necessities of the body, its focus is on feeding the spirit. Yoga teaches us that we need a foundation of spiritual values upon which we can grow to become empowered spiritual personalities. After all, we are spiritual beings and no amount of material possessions will ever satisfy us. Equally important to realize is the fact that these values aren't dependent on external validation and can't be measured by wealth or fame. They develop as a result of realizing that challenges aren't obstacles, but opportunities for internal, spiritual growth.
One individual who embodied these qualities is mentioned in today's verse - King Janaka. A great ruler who was not only a devoted husband and father, he was also a true well-wisher for all his subjects. Though the leader of his kingdom, he never sought honour or recognition. Instead, he always considered everything he had to be gifts given to him by the Divine. Following in his footsteps, his people also adopted this lifestyle of expressing gratitude to the Supreme. Due to this abundant spirit of gratitude and care, it is recorded that all his people lived a life of utter contentment and fulfillment.
Sometimes when we hear of such persons, we may think "Yah, that was xyz number of years ago, there's no one like that anymore." Not true! There are still such persons who live amongst us today. Their goal is to live a life of gratitude and connection with the Supreme and to help anyone who is sincerely interested.
So take heart, there are incredible role models amongst us. It might just takes us a little time to recognize them.