Life is all about framing our narratives.

So I’ve learned over the last decade. Complaining is an option. So is gratitude. We have an option to be jealous of their success, or to be happy for them, or even to seek them out and learn from their success. 

The choice is ours.

“I Need 10 Rupees for the Bus, Sir”

I had finished writing the CET entrance exams in Bangalore, the exams to help me secure a seat in an engineering college in Karnataka. Free from the ordeal of writing exams, I decided to spend the rest of the day walking on M.G. Road. M.G. Road is full of shops and stalls — as lively a place you can find.

First things first – I purchased a softy ice cream for 5 rupees (yes, 5 rupees), and walked up and down M.G. Road. 

“Excuse me, sir, “a man stopped me. “I don’t have money for a bus ticket to go home, can you please give me 10 rupees,” he whimpered. My heart beamed. “Of course,” I told him and gave him 10 rupees.

What a hero I was. If only there were more people like me, what a nice place this universe would be. So I told myself. My heart welling with pride at my munificent act, I went and watched a movie. 

When I exited the cinema hall back onto M.G. Road, a familiar voice called out to me again, “Excuse me, sir.” 

Instinctively I knew something was amiss. It was the same man. “I need 10 rupees for the bus, sir, can you please help me”, he repeated the same dialogue in the same tone with the same whimper. 

I was scammed. 

My stare reminded him that he had scammed me once, and he was more than happy to go away. 

My smile, though, went away, and that hero feeling got doused. I spent the day feeling like a sucker. 

Chicken Soup for the Soul

I’ve written a lot about how Success Principles by Jack Canfield shook me hard.

Jack Canfield is best known as the co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul. This is a book series that contains beautiful stories to touch the heart. Can a book really warm the heart? One random story from any of the books will make you say “Absolutely!”

These real-life stories span, entertain and inspire at the same time. Think of the best articles bunched together in a book – that’s Chicken Soup for the Soul for you. 

I had heard of this book but read it first when I stayed over at a friend’s house. They had a bookshelf in their guest bedroom and this was one of the books. I read this book and came across a truly beautiful story. A story that told me that I had the option to view the M.G.Road experience with a different set of lens.

As an aside, if you have house guests, whether you provide them with a mattress, sheets, pillows, towels or soap, make sure you provide them with some books to read. Just don’t tell my wife I said this, I’d like my bones to remain intact. 

He Lied to Me? That’s Great News!

A young boy approached a wealthy man and asked him for some money. 

“My mother is dying and is in the hospital”, the boy whimpered. The wealthy man was moved and immediately gave the young man the money. The following day, an acquaintance told the wealthy man, “That boy lied to you. His mother is not in the hospital. She is hale and healthy.” 

“That’s Great News!” he exclaimed immediately. 

The acquaintance was shocked with this reaction. Great news?

“All day yesterday I was worrying about the boy’s mother. I was hoping she should get better”, the wealthy man explained. “Now that I know she is not in danger, isn’t that amazing news?”

Image Credit: Foto Sushi from Unsplash