Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Life is a Lemon

Squeeze a lemon, and it will produce a juice, too harsh to be palatable. But it forms the basis for lemonade, the world’s oldest refreshing drink. Like a lemon, life is full of sour things. It is full of challenges, hardships, pain and suffering. But in all this is hidden the seeds of greatest achievements, happiness and success. Life at times can even be cruel, but that is what makes it worth living.We become happy as we fight sorrow.
We become wealthy as we struggle to remove poverty. We develop intimate relationships as we overcome loneliness. We produce light as we fight the darkness. In other words we produce positive in our endeavors to remove negative.
Life will hand you a lemon. Bigger it is; more sour it is, tastier and more of lemonade you can make with it. Bigger the suffering, bigger is the blessing; bigger the challenge, bigger is the reward. Big people made it big because they had bigger lemon in their lives. If they didn’t have theirs, they take others. Mahatma Gandhi, was a lawyer, and could have made a great career at it. But his sensitivity towards inequality and injustice made him what he was. Life handed him his lemon the day he was thrown out of the first class compartment of the train for having the wrong skin color. Would Gandhi be Gandhi we know if there was no injustice and India would not have been a ruled by exploitative British imperialists. What Mother Teresa would have done, if there was no illness and pain on the streets? Would Helen Keller rise to the heights she did, if she was not blind? The list can go on and on.
Your life is full of big problems? It has sorrows too hard to describe? You are facing hardships that you do not even want your enemies to face? Congratulations….. You have the lemon to make the lemonade. God has given you these not without reason. It is in these hard times that we grow towards our potential. So thank God for it. It is during these trying moments when you rise and keep rising, till you achieve greatness. No one is born great, but it is his challenges, pain and misery that force him to become great.
You may rightly argue that if pain and hardships are required for success, then why there are so many who are still homeless and poor. Why so many people are castigated to a life of loneliness. Why people live an entire life in misery and ultimately die a miserable and obscure death. It is simple; this is the way they want to be. They accept that lemon is a sour fruit and nothing can be done about it. The pain and misery in their life though apparent to others does not seem to hurt them. You are not suffering if you are not feeling the hurt. It is only when you feel the hurt, that you do something to remove it. And in the process you become a hero.
A lemon does not turn into lemonade all by its own. Someone has to press it to squeeze out the juice, and then add water and stir in sugar. It requires the thirst and the desire that prompts you to take action. It needs faith, that it can be done. To get the perfect lemonade, it requires careful planning and execution. And it requires patience perseverance till the sugar dissolves. And the important part, you have to make it your self. You open a bottle of readymade lemonade; it is the manufacturer who earns the money (pun intended).
So, are you ready to make your lemonade……..?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Lamp Gives Light, Tree Gives Shade

The greatness of an individual lies not in what he accumulates but what he gives. Jesus is great because he suffered on the cross so that we are saved. Gandhi was great as he fought for freedom and equality. Mother Teresa was great as she spent her life serving poor, sick and destitute.

You need not be someone of great means to give. A lamp burns its own existence till the last moment to fight darkness and give light. Tree never asks anything for itself, but give flowers, fruits and shades to all who needs it. This kind of sacrifice is only possible for those, whose heart his filled with love and compassion for others. Their spirit has a passion for serving and an ability to feel pain of others in their own soul. It requires a go-give attitude more than a go-get attitude.

Dashrath Manjhi, a poor, illiterate, landless laborer, who lives in a backward village called Gahlore situated in the sate of Bihar in Eastern India. What a person like him could give to others?

Dashrath worked on a field near the hill that rose near the village. This hill stood between his village and civilization with only a treacherous pass between it. Since most of the cultivable land and shops were on other side of the hill, the poor villagers had to brave the dangerous pass number of times in a day. The authorities kept turning a blind eye towards the problems for decades.

One day, his wife slipped and got injured while crossing the pass on the hill, while bringing lunch for him. The incident disturbed Dashrath so much that he decided to do something about it. He sold his goat, to purchase a chisel, hammer and a rope. And with these simple equipments he set of to dig a tunnel through the mountain, all by himself. He dug for 22 years to create a passage that is 360 ft. long, 25 feet high and 16 ft wide, enough for a vehicle to pass.

People called him mad, but he was a man with a purpose. Today, because of him the life of his fellow villagers has become easier. He has thrown the doors open for the development of his village as the passage reduced the distance between two districts from 50 km to just 8 km. The state government rewarded his achievement by giving him five acres of land.

But his story does not end here. Unfortunately, his wife did not survive to witness the miracle her husband has created. She died of an illness without treatment because of lack of proper medical facilities. So, now he wants to build a hospital on the land he got as reward. After unsuccessful attempts to get assistance from the local government in this regard, he decided to meet the President of India. Since he did not have enough money to buy a railway ticket he walked on foot a distance of nearly thousand kilometers. Somebody rightly said that when dreams are big enough facts don’t count.

This poor, illiterate gentleman, belonging to the most unprivileged class of Indian society is a perfect example of success. His go-give attitude, his compassion, dream, courage, faith in himself, determination and perseverance raises him to level of greatness.

In our mundane life full of rat race for accumulation of wealth and worldly pleasure, let us take out some time to give a bit of ourselves. Let us become a slightly better human being than what we already are. After all the supreme purpose of our lives is to spread happiness and help others and that is the greatest gift of all.

God Bless You!!