Monday, October 12, 2009
The way to true happiness
It was a few days before the Diwali festival many years ago. The mood was festive and we children were eager with anticipation of eating the sweets and other savouries that would be made at home, bursting the crackers, wearing new clothes etc. The mid-term exams were over and the vacation had started.
Although we were not very well off and belonged to a simple middle class family, our parents ensured that we celebrated such festivals within our modest means. Those days, we used to buy clothes only twice a year during such occasion or on birthday. On the day when we were about to go shopping for new clothes my elder brother (aged about 10)announced that he did not want new clothes.
We were surprised by his decision and were wondering what was wrong with him. Did he feel offended by something and is expressing his dissent in this manner? Or did he wish to get something else instead of clothes? When he was asked the reason, he just kept quiet and did not give any special reason. Our mother would not take no for an answer and probed him further.
After a lot of questioning, he finally gave his answer. He said one of his friends, who stayed in the same building as ours, came from a poor family and he normally does not get new clothes during Diwali. So, my brother felt it would not be appropriate for him to strut about in new clothes while his friend continued to wear his old clothes. It was an unbelievable act of self-denial and selfless behaviour from someone as young as my brother.
At that time, I just couldn't relate to this spirit of sacrifice that my brother displayed. However, I learnt a very big lesson from him that has stayed in my heart ever since. In our joy and our success, we should not forget others. Share with and care for others. Keep the feelings of others in mind. True happiness is when we bring a smile in the face of others..
Greetings of the season to all my readers... May the festival of lights bring joy and peace to your family and you..