This is in continuation with my previous post on interdependence where the relevance of teaching our children to be interdependent, was touched upon.

Just two days after writing that post, I received an email from one of the world’s finest architects who has contributed a lot to the transformation of school designs in the United States. I must mention here that I am doing a research project on school designs, for which I had mailed a number of people who have contributed immensely to this field.

I’d sent around 20 e-mails to all those scholars/architects/educators, out of which only four sent a response. The most surprising mail was from the architect who I have mentioned above. While others replied to my questions with reference links or one-line answers, this amazing person sent me a Zoom link for a video conference!

I was overwhelmed and excited that the person whose texts and talks I have been referring to all the while will actually be there, in front of me (virtually though), to guide me through my research. On the day of the meeting, he logged in five minutes before the scheduled time (honestly, I was thinking that I might have to send him a reminder e-mail as he’d have forgotten).

He listened to my queries with utmost patience and curiosity, and then offered his perspective that gave a new direction to my research. He was so humble that instead of feeling overpowered by his intelligence and knowledge, I felt confident and comfortable. He was a true embodiment of simplicity and greatness.

He asked me whether I have read his book on the same subject, to which I replied that I’d found it too expensive. After the meeting, he mailed me PDFs of three books written by him (they cost around ₹10,000 on Amazon). And, also welcomed me for any further guidance I might want. 

I was totally floored by his generosity, and sent him a thank you note, to which he replied thus:

“Thanks for your kind words, Parul. As I told you, we live in an interdependent world. Those of us who are lucky enough to be doing things we are passionate about, didn’t get here on our own. I’ve also had a lot of help along the way and now it’s my turn to ‘pay it forward’ . Take care. “
I shall always be indebted for the lesson in being interdependent this humble man taught me. I felt my vision broaden a little more. I also realised why Swamiji insists upon performing RAKs (Random Acts of Kindness) so often. Such acts of kindness actually have the potential to change the world…. for better.