Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Pic.: Anima D'Cunha

“We cannot be grateful and unhappy at the same time.”

An old one?

Yes, it is.

It means, being thankful for the situation we are in – whatever situation it may be – is the basic key to our happiness.

Now, I said “Whatever situation it may be.”

Why did I say that?

Yesterday, in our PD session, I was showing to our young students a five minutes Lifebuoy ad. It was a powerful ad about health and hygiene… One of the ways of ensuring it is by keeping our hands clean (Remember it is an ad from Lifebuoy!)

Gudappa is on his way to the local small temple… His five-year-old son and some people from his village are following him… there are drums, a beautiful song in the background… children dancing… The highlight of this procession is that Gundappa is making this visit – the pilgrimage – on his hands… yes, he is walking on his palms, his whole body upside down… all the way from his hut to the village temple… through the rough and rugged path… A passerby young lady is curious… On reaching the temple, Gundappa sits down, calls his son to his bosoms and cries, “Mera  bachcha aaj paanch saal ka hogaya.”

 “But, that’s not such a great event to celebrate like this,” the amused lady reacts before one of the elders in the village.

“It ‘is’ a great event madam,” the village elder informs the lady with calmness, “This little boy is the first child of Gundappa who has lived till the age of five!”

The music and the lady’s reaction to this makes our hearts stop!

While I was showing this ad to our young-ones, one of my doctor friends arrived. When the film ended, I requested my friend to say a few words for our students…

My doctor friend did not talk about health and hygiene… Instead, he chose to talk about the attitude of gratitude…

“You all have survived much longer than the age 5, haven’t you?” He asked. He continued, “Some of my patients, complain to me saying the medicine is not working… they are not getting cured. I tell them that if they remain grateful in their hearts, the medicines ‘will’ work faster… They don’t easily agree with that theory…Then, I tell them, that they are lucky that they are  able to come to my clinic unlike many patients who cannot… ‘Some of my patients are able to come, but they cannot climb the 2nd floor… You can…. So, I have to make a home visit for them’… To the ones who I see at their homes, I tell when I hear them grumble, ‘You are lucky… because, there are so many out there who are in the hospital’… To the ones who grumble in the hospital, I say, ‘You are fortunate that you are not in ICU’… And, to the ones who grumble in the ICU, I try to calm down saying, ‘Thank God, you are still alive’!”

So, whatever situation I am in – there is someone out there whose situation is worse than mine… And, frankly, that truth is enough to bring in me the attitude of gratitude… If it doesn’t, then, happiness is only an illusion I am chasing, like a fool!

“I complained I had no shoes till I saw a man with no feet!”

Very old one?

Never mind.


Video: YouTube

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