Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared.
After returning to India after spending over 9 years abroad, there has been one thing that has always disturbed me. Despite all the hype about India’s progress and economic reforms, grass root level poverty and the ever widening gap between the rich and the poor is shocking.
The World Bank’s latest statistics should serve as a wake up call to all Indians with a heart – We are home to roughly one third of all the poor people in the world. We also have a bigger proportion of our population living on $2 a day than sub-Saharan Africa ( a shocking 828 million fellow citizens or 75.6% of Indian population)
These statistics and the grim reality at the grass root level are too shocking to be ignored. I believe we all can make a difference to those who are less fortunate in ways that are convenient to us. I am not advocating only giving away monetary help but there are numerous other ways in which we can make a difference to the sea of humanity around us and in the process seek a deeper and richer meaning to our own life.
Usually, the internal questions that stop us from coming forward and helping are –
– I haven’t done it before, We don’t have enough time, resources, people, credibility, we are not registered as an NGO, what will others say, what if doesn’t work out and so on.
These are the questions that our weaker self poses to us so that we can come up with some excuses and forget about the whole thing. Our higher self, meanwhile, urges us to answer the call within, beckons us forward to a higher cause and assures us that all that we need on the journey to fulfil our missions, will be made available to us in due course of time. In Martin Luther King’s words – We just need to have faith and take the first step, we don’t need to see the whole staircase…
Last Diwali, we also answered that call, and despite having no idea how we would pull it off, we stepped forward in faith and a way was revealed to us. More people surfaced who wanted to join in and help, money and material contributions came from all sides – beyond our expectations, we did not even have a receipt book, but an invisible force pulled us forward and the result was that we were able to light up 500 homes around Jalandhar City last Diwali. And to this day, all of us involved look back at that effort with a great sense of inner satisfaction and joy. It surely was the best Diwali we ever celebrated and we are confident that this is only the beginning.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment,
or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
So, what difference will you make today? How many faces will you put a smile to? Whose life would you touch today?