BEING GRATEFUL FOR OUR SMALL MERCIES
“There are tests, but there are also small mercies.
Life tossed us up into the air, scattered us,
and we all somehow found our way back.
And we will do it again.
— Alexandra Bracken
The moment I focus on what is missing in my life – what I don’t have – I slip into a complaining mode. On the other hand, the moment I focus on what I still have, I slip into a grateful mode. These are the two poles of my well-being globe… When I complain, I feel unhappy… and when I am grateful, I feel happy…
Surprisingly, often, the awareness of what I still have and should be grateful for comes right in the midst of my unhappy state… My fuming and ranting lead me nowhere… I see myself in more and more turmoil as I keep grumbling more and more. So, I am amazed, often, to see how the awareness of what I still have in my life and need to be thankful for… yes, I am amazed to see how this awareness springs right as I cruise through the troubled sea of my disappointments, frustrations and sadness…
Also, when I see the problems and frustrations in others’ life, I get a proper perspective… More so, if I desire to help them out to find peace… As I try to show them their way, I find my own… Peace comes to dwell in my heart.
Savio* is studying in his final-year of graduation. His working mother is frustrated with him… He is an intelligent young man… handsome and articulate, very gifted, too. The only complaint of his mother is his lack of interest in studies due to terrible distraction… He comes from a simple family of limited resources… but, he is surrounded by a few friends from rich families… Staying out late, parties at resorts and farm-houses… long late-night drives… all these have brought Savio’s mother to the edge… “Sir, we are ordinary people… Those kids have their fathers’ wealth… We don’t have… and, this ‘idiot’ doesn’t understand that,” Savio’s mother keeps telling me. When she sent me that message, once again, yesterday, I tried to calm her down with the words, “Ma’am, some flowers always bloom late, you see!”
I have seen kids, who pass through situations far worse than Savio’s, doing very well in life when their time comes. These teenage years are terrible years… It’s only a matter of faith, patience and love. So, even though I was in the midst of my own frustrations, yesterday, I wanted to help Savio’s mother to relax and feel less anxious…
She wrote back: “Ok, that's good news for me! He never informs what he is doing… I see him still sleeping like a log when am leaving for work… He comes home early mornings after roaming with his friends for three nights at a stretch… I am awake most nights, checking every hour on his whereabouts… As they go on bikes and other vehicles, I keep hoping and praying he doesn’t do anything wrong… I keep saying to myself ‘As long as he comes back home safe and in one piece, it is fine… Thank God for small mercies.”
“Ma'am, let's repeat those last words,” I replied, “It’s tough to let go and let God in, I know. But, we need to.”
“True.” This was the last word.
* Name changed
Pic.: Anil Bedi