It seems the world is full of fools when you are in your pre-teen and teenage. Life has its ways to assist you and guide you, in its humble & teaching methodologies. Every time, when, I know it all attitude comes up, there it is – a Life Lesson.
Being in India, a lower-middle-class family with a small parental business of snack shop, there was NO way out financially (10 hungry mouths to feed), But to succeed academically.
Parents, limited formal education should not be an impediment for us. Their practical experience itself is enough to learn from. They have their lives, devoted to raising their 4 kids, I am the youngest.
Not knowing, what, where, how & when?
Still mind thinketh, lying down in bed with elder brother and reflecting on the economical status of the home. Counting in the home today we have 4 Metal beds, One Luna (Small cc moped), 2 bicycles, 1 TV, One common study table (for ironing, for study, for table fan).
We will have a separate bed & study table for each one of us as we grow older. Nice Starline Car for family & a Hero Honda SS bike (Just like we learned on, kind neighbor uncles Hero Honda SS). Our own phone at home (not PP – public phone) Starry eyes, dreaming with open eyes & seeing things in reality. Being the youngest I was little pampered though (Still am though, a lot). Dreaming, with academic results propelled further ahead.
Sheer determination & sacrifice of mother & hard, very hard labor work of father (staying away from family for days in stretch), are the right role model (as I reflect upon now).
But as we all are in puberty, I know it all, my friend knows better, you do not understand “Ma” & “Pappa”.
I relate a story, I very commonly read & share with students I interact. Here it is –
In a small village, there was a very knowledgeable & wise old man. Very much respected by all the families of the village & was always looked upon for guidance and counsel by all. Especially when they needed True judgment & unbiased opinion.
Since he was a man of truth, but you know the teenagers, always trying to prove their point of view as correct. Generally in a society, we find few notorious and mischievous kids, who just could not handle the statements from their parents at home, “We will get the truth, you know how? by old man”. They all got together and made a pact. We will make fool out of this old man and have him speak lie to us. So that we can prove to all villagers that he is NOT a person to look up to & he does lie, not worthy of villagers’ respect and attention.
First thing in the morning they planned to make a visit to his humble kutiya just outside the village, closer to the jungle. They made a plan to meet him and get their queries answered and doing so trick him. Kids went up to him, before reaching his kutiya, they picked up a small bird from the bush nearby.
Lots of people have already queued up to meet the old man. They all were very impatient, but no choice had to wait for their turn.
Finally, their turn came, old man waived them to walk towards him. The old man could sense the intentions of a prank. Kids were excited and asked a question, “Old man, Old man, tell us do you always speak the truth?“. He humbly replies, “Sure do, son“. All kids burst out laughing, stating “Old man, we are here to prove you wrong“. With a gentle and serene smile, Old man gestured to ask their question. Holding the small bird in his back, the leader kid asked, “Old man Old man, tell us, what do I have in my hand?”
The old man gently answered, “You have a bird in your hand, son”
kids, shocked. Ok! , kid with a loud voice now (so that all other villagers present can hear them clearly), the trick question came “Tell us, if the bird is dead or alive?”
The old man knew, he will be posed with such a situation, if he says “bird is dead“, the kid will let it fly & he will be fooled. And, if he says “bird is alive“, the kid will crush the bird in his back to show him a dead bird. They will make fool of him.
But, the old man was not only intelligent and compassionate, he was so erudite. In his lifetime experience & learning uttered the answer.
“Dear son, you are holding a bird in your hand that is sure. But, its LIFE or DEATH is All in your hands“.
Just like the kids, who just could not get their acts together, instead, they tried to put others down.
- No or Yes
- Failure or Success
- Not to Work or Get up and Work
- Procrastinate or Anticipate
- Cry or Smile
- Hate or Love
- War or Peace…
It’s all in our hands
I had to pull my act together & choose to work & excel. Friends are there to assist, as long as the party lasts. But then on, we are alone to party with our own results.
As peacefully our respected Swamiji always say, “Find your Truth”
Thank You for reading
Jai Shri Hari !!!