The past few days collectively the sense of fatigue, pain , fear , hopelessness have been growing in magnitude. The suffering around makes you feel helpless. But amidst this rather intimidating atmosphere there one beautiful feeling that us also been rising simultaneously. The desire to help others, reach out, the pain of the other is reaching us in ways we may never have perceived in ordinary times.

I look around me and I see most people trying to help. There are obviously infinite ways to help. But I am writing this post not to talk about the more larger, stark manners in people are helping or can help.

But I would like to speak of the smaller, almost insignificant things that may not alleviate the pain of the people around but can at least be a gesture of compassion, maybe just a reason for a smile. Like Swami Vivekananda said it’s always the intent behind the action and not the action itself.

Last night I was wondering how and what I could do, apart from sparing resources to help. Because given the magnitude of the situation nothing is going to be good enough. And then a Christmas song suddenly came to mind. It’s called the Drummer Boy. It’s about a little drummer boy who is on his way to see infant Jesus. And everyone around him is carrying fine gifts. He of course has none. And so he wonders what can he offer. And he finally sings –

I have no gifts to give him … ta ra pa pum pum

That fits a King … ta ra pa pum pum

Shall I play for him … ta ra pa pum pum

And Mary smiled  … ta ra pa pum pum

So I played my drum for him … ta ra pa pum pum

And that is the simplicity of giving from the heart. Anything can be a gift. And I cannot help but mention the Black Lotus App, (I used it a long time ago). There was a section in it called RAK (Random acts of kindness). I found that too be such a beautiful, thoughtful idea. Integrating the idea of giving in our everyday lives. Simple things like opening the door etc. And that was something that stayed in my head in a subtle way, and I am thankfully to Swamiji for that teaching.

So here I am wondering what I can do today to just ease up maybe one person’s life around for a moment. And I like the drummer boy am a musician, so I can play something for the people around today. And I will do just that. Record a piece of music to share

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nandita basu

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