Sebin S Kottaram and Jobin S Kottaram
Even a single strand of hair can a shadow on this earth- Spanish proverb
All our wealth and possessions, and our position my one day be lost. Then, we might lose even the value that these possessions gave us. But our true worth that we acquired by the way we live our lives does not depend on our possessions or wealth and thus will always remain.
When flowers bloom, all that we think about is the flowers. Never about the leaves that decayed and become manure for the plant so that the flowers could bloom.
Alphonsa is one such saint who became manure for other through her prayers and sacrifices.
She didn’t make history, didn’t do anything that could be called an achievement in other people’s views, but silently and with her sacrifices, she brought the strength of faith and change in the lives of others.
At a time when most people are more concerned about their own welfare, these words about saint Alphonsa hold more relevance. Her’s was a life that was dedicated to the service of others. Just like different commodities in the market have different values, so do people. But the worth of a person in a society is decided by the value he has acquired with his life; with the way he lived his life with respect to the society. It is not the worth that being rich or successful gives you. Instead, it is the value that society gives you, for how you have lived your life for others. All the wealth and positions that you have accumulated over the years might be lost tomorrow. Then,even the value that was attributed to you on account of your wealth and position might also come down. But our true worth that we acquired by the way we live does not depend on our possessions or wealth and thus will always remain.
Let us take the example of a police officer who is a strict disciplinary and the sight of whom would make lower officers tremble. All the officers in his charge will behave very deferentially towards him. But when the same officer retires at a later date, in a matter of days there will be a change in the attitude of the other officers towards him. The great respect and love for him might just not be there. What could possibly be the reason for this sudden change in behaviour? The reason is nothing but this.What the other officers respected in the now retired officer was his superior position. Once he lost that position, the respect the position commanded was also lost.
But there is another scenario where a common man, who is not in a position to command respect from others, is also treated with great respect, even by people in power or higher positions. Now what could be the reason behind this? His contributions to society, the good things he has done for others, is what makes him worthy of such respect. A good example of such a person could be one Mr Thomas, who visits the Medical College Hospital, with food and other kinds of help for the patients and their relatives.
Only when we can work for the good of others selflessly without thinking of our own gains in everything we do, can we earn one such person can make a world of difference in a society when money and power cannot make an impact.
After the maoist attacks in the north eastern parts of India, the people whom the government appointed to conduct compromise talks were Medha Patkar and Swamy Agnivesh, two social activists. Why did the top government officials fail to come to a consensus, after holding talks with the maoists, and prevent more bloodshed. The reason was that these most of these officials could not gain the trust of the maoists. Only those who are self sacrificing and work for the good of the society are accepted by society as a whole. Everyone including the rich and the poor, the good and the bad, the powerful and the weak, all people trust and respect them. Even their enemies can be heard singing the praises of such great men. Grow yourself and help others grow, is the message that life gives us.
This reminds me of a newer version of the Hare and the Tortoise story.
It starts the same way. Both the hare and the tortoise are ready and the race begins. The hare ran very fast. He looked back and found that the tortoise was nowhere in sight.
The poor tortoise was moving forward at very slow pace.
The hare ran forward happily. But this time he didn’t want to repeat the mistake of dozing off midway. So he decided to reach the finishing point first. He almost reached the finishing point but, there was another problem awaiting him now. Just before the finishing point there was a little river flowing. How will he reach the other side of the river now? if he took to the water alone he would surely drown. He was going to lose again. He sat down by the river worried and sad.
Time ticked by. There, the tortoise was slowly walking towards the finishing point. The he saw the hare.
What happened to you my friend, you had run much faster than me. Why are you sitting here looking sad?
To this the hare replied, to reach the finishing point, we will have to cross the river and I can’t swim.
Now the tortoise said that he will help the hare cross the river. So the hare crossed the river on the tortoise’s back. The hare now knew he was wrong and thanked the tortoise who had helped him in his helplessness. Then together they walked to victory.
Hence dear friends, our victory becomes real and meaningful only by helping others and sharing our gains with others on the way. Let us all try for such victories in our lives and thus be worthy citizens of society. Good wished to all.
Jobin S Kottaram: 9447259402