A young man applied for a managerial position in a big company. He passed the initial interview, and was meeting the director for the final interview. The director discovered from his CV that the youth’s academic achievements were excellent. He asked a few questions and got to know the boy had no father and his mother was a cleaner. The director requested the youth to show him his hands. The youth showed a pair of hands that were smooth and perfect.
“Have you ever helped your mother wash clothes?”
“Never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books.”
The director said, “When you go home today, look at your mother’s hands, and then see me tomorrow morning.”
The youth felt that his chance of landing the job was high.
When he got home, he asked his mother to let him see her hands. He noticed that his mother’s hands were wrinkled, and there were many bruises, some so painful that his mother winced when he touched them. For the first time the youth realised that this was the price his mother had paid for his education, his school activities and his future. That night the youth quietly washed all the clothes and mother and son talked for a very long time.
The next morning the director asked the youth what he had done and learned the previous day.
The youth replied, “I know now what appreciation is. Without my mother I would not be who I am today. Only now do I realise how difficult and tough it was for her to get something done for me.”
The director said, “This is what I am looking for in a manager. You are hired.”
There was a little girl who stormed out of the house after a fight with her mother. She walked the lanes till late at night and stopped near a noodle shop, tired, hungry and with no money. The kind old seller offered her a bowl of noodles free of cost. As she ate tears poured down her cheeks and she cried out, “You are a stranger and you cared for me, my mother does nothing for me.”
The old man replied, “Think again little one... I gave you a bowl of noodles and you cried in gratitude. Your mother has done this for years, have you ever been grateful?”
The little girl got up and ran all the way home to see her mother at the end of the street, tired and exhausted after searching for her the whole day. She saw her mother’s face light up with joy when she saw her. “Come let’s go home,” her mother said. “Your dinner is waiting for you.”
Dear young Readers, I am sure you have got my message. Need I say more? The unfortunate truth is that we take for granted the people who love us the most, and treat them with indifference. Having been protected and given whatever we wanted many of us have developed an ‘entitlement mentality’, always putting ourselves first. We are ignorant of the efforts of people who worked to get us where we are. We assume that every person must listen to us, and we never care to know about the sufferings and sacrifices of those around us. We go through our lives at breakneck speed, never pausing to think of who fills in the fuel and oils the wheels!
In life, we often appreciate the small actions of people around us, but we see the sacrifices of close relatives, friends and especially parents as our natural birthright. Their unstinting love and concern of parents are the most precious gifts we have been given. They do not expect anything back for nurturing us, and we seldom appreciate or treasure their love and sacrifice.
One very important thing we have to learn is to appreciate the effort of others, to empathise with their difficulties and to work and live with an attitude of gratitude.
A pilot ejected from his plane, which was about to crash, and landed safely because of his parachute. He was asked who he would thank for his miraculous escape. He smiled and said, “God, and the person who made the parachute strings.”
Today, go home and give your parents a big ‘Thank you for being there for me’ hug and see the tears of joy in their eyes.
Today, pause in your busy day to look around at those who contribute to the comfort zone of your life, and thank them sincerely.
Readers, if you have questions related to your life or life skills send a mail to Indira Aiyer and she will certainly have a response for you.