Let me take the opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very joyous and prosperous new year 2011. May all your dreams become a reality and may you achieve tremendous success and peace! Would have loved to wish you on 1st January but celebrations to welcome the new year simply extended…..
Resolutions for the new year have almost become a thing of the past. One often hears they are meant to be broken and so why even attempt to make them. For me, resolutions seem like a commitment to myself towards some improvement. Since a commitment to self is of the highest level, I do make them. And if they are compelling enough, chances are you will be driven to accomplish.
The world is witnessing amazing changes. While you may argue with merit that has always been the case, clearly the rate of change has accelerated considerably. That is leading to huge amounts of anxiety all around. Stress levels have increased, people are far more impatient and edgy. Quite often directionless and requiring coaching and mentoring to deal with the situation.
My interactions with people in the recent past lead me to believe that a way of providing comfort in such situations is through an understanding of people, being considerate towards them and showering unconditional and selfless love. Allowing their self esteem to be intact and their confidence growing.
Want to share a beautiful story that can make you commit to the cause……
My wife called ‘how long will you be with that newspaper? Will you come here and make your darling daughter eat her food?’ I tossed the paper away and rushed to the scene.
My only daughter Sindu looked frightened, tears welling up in her eyes. In front of her was a bowl full of Curd Rice. Sindu is a nice child, quite intelligent for her age. She has just turned eight and particularly detested Curd Rice. My mother and wife are orthodox and believe in the ‘cooling effects’ of Curd Rice. I cleared my throat and picked up the bowl ‘Sindu darling, why don’t you take a few mouthfuls just for dad’s sake dear.’
Sindu softened a bit and wiped her tears with the back of her hands. ‘OK dad. I will eat – not just a few mouthfuls, but the whole lot of this. But you should…’ Sindu hesitated. ‘Dad, if I eat this entire curd Rice, will you give me whatever I ask for?….Promise? ‘…’Promise’. I covered the pink soft hand extended by my daughter with mine and clinched the deal. ‘Ask Mom also to give a similar promise’ my daughter insisted. My wife put her hand on Sindu’s, muttering ‘Promise’.
Now I became a bit anxious. ‘Sindu dear, you shouldn’t insist on getting a computer or any such expensive items. Dad does not have that kind of money right now. OK?’ ‘No, Dad, I do not want anything expensive’. Slowly and painfully she finished eating the whole quantity. I was silently angry with my wife and mother for forcing the child eat something she detested. After the ordeal was through, Sindu came to me with her eyes wide with expectation. All our attention was on her ‘dad, I want to have my head shaved off this Sunday’ was her demand.
‘Atrocious’ shouted my wife ‘a girl child having her head shaved off? Impossible!’ ‘Never in our family’ my mother rasped ‘she has been watching too much of television. Our culture is getting totally spoilt with these TV programs.’ ‘Why don’t you ask for something else. We will be sad seeing you with a clean-shaven head’ I was almost pleading with her.
‘No dad. I do not want anything else’ Sindu, in tears, said with finality ‘you saw how difficult it was for me to eat that Curd Rice and you promised to grant me whatever I ask for. Now you are going back on your words. Didn’t you tell me the story of King Harishchandra and its moral that we should honor our promises no matter what?’
It was time for me to call the shots. ‘Our promise must be kept.’ ‘Are you out your mind?’ chorused my mother and wife. ‘Not at all – if we go back on our promises, she will never learn to honor her own. The wish must be fulfilled.’
With her head clean-shaven, Sindu had a round-face and her eyes looked big and beautiful. On Monday morning I dropped her at her school. It was a sight to watch my hairless Sindu walking towards her classroom. She turned around and waved. I waved back with a smile. Just then a boy alighted from a car and shouted ‘Sinduja, please wait for me!’ What struck me was the hairless head of that boy. In-thing, I thought.
‘Sir, your daughter Sinduja is great indeed’ without introducing herself a lady got out of the car and continued ‘that boy walking along side your daughter is my son Harish. He is suffering from leukemia.’ She paused to muffle her sobs. ‘Harish could not attend school all of the last month. He lost his hair to the side effects of chemotherapy and refused to come to school fearing teasing of the schoolmates. Sinduja visited him last week and promised to take care of the teasing issue. I could never have imagined she would sacrifice her lovely hair for the sake of my son! Sir, you and your wife are blessed to have such a noble soul as your daughter.’
It was impossible to hold back tears at the teaching my little angel had just provided!
Understanding, compassion and reaching out is all that is needed to make the world a better place. Tender-loving-care (TLC) you could say. It has the capability of inspiring people like nothing else would.
Now can I seek your commitment to make 2011 the TLC year? That surely does not take a resolution…