Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Do circumstances in our life ‘change’ us? 

I remember reading in some book, “They reveal us.”

Yes, as they say, the only thing that is ‘constant’ in our life is ‘change’, our circumstances. Everything - from our financial condition to relationships, from our physical condition to our spiritual inclinations – yes, everything undergoes a constant change. And, with this change, we change, too. 

Yes, circumstances in our life do change us. Sometimes for the better, and sometimes, for the worse. But, we do change.

Yesterday, I met someone after many, many years. He was not able to recognize me at all; nor was I. After a while, both of us succeeded. “You have changed completely… I remember your ‘Sai Baba hair… Your tight jeans… You were so thin,” this man told me. “All gone, sir; now this is me,” I expressed light-heartedly. “And, this is me,” he showed me his pot belly. 

Just a couple of days before that, I happened to meet a lady after, again, several years. “You are the same Gerry… Your have not changed a bit,” she burst out. “That’s good, no ma’am?” I asked. “Of course, it is,” she declared.

All this change – or no change - had come about in a span of less than twenty years. 

When that man and I met, we were trying to remember each other by our hippie and afro-hair, or by our jeans and bell-bottoms, or by the size of our bellies. These things had changed beyond recognition… It was evident.

On the other hand, when that lady met me, we were trying to remember each other by the gentleness of our speech, by the warmth of our handshakes… by the freshness of our smiles. Perhaps, these things had not changed, we both sensed it instantly.

Last evening, my wife had visited one of her colleagues’ house. The mother-in-law was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and was placed in one of the rooms in their bungalow. When my wife went inside to see this 80-some lady, it was difficult for my wife to believe that it was the same lady she had seen, in the same house, about two years ago! That was the time, the old lady was in charge of the affairs of not only their house but also their flourishing business. She was a five-ten-tall figure, and a very articulate, very gracious lady. Now, she had shrunken into a pigmy figure and all that she did was to sit in her bed only showing some movement of her tongue. No memory, no speech, nothing… all dead, for all practical reasons. All this change… in not even two years!

I do not know about me. Another couple of years from now, God alone knows… what it will be! Perhaps, some might write a piece on the similar subject… Might ask the same question: “Do circumstances in our life ‘change’ us?”

I, somehow, agree with that author who wrote: “They reveal us.”


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