CHENNAI: A young woman walked into a grocery store and hesitatingly asked the owner if he would give her a few groceries on credit. She was a regular visitor to the store and usually paid her dues. That day her husband was very ill, and they needed the groceries urgently. The grocer scoffed and told her to leave his store. With tears in her eyes she pleaded, “Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can.”
Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two and told the grocer to give her what she needed; he would pay the bill.
In a reluctant manner and with a smirk the grocer said, “You have a grocery list. Put your list on the scale. What your list weighs is what you get.”
She hesitated a moment when she heard the strange instruction, then took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She bowed her head and reverently laid the piece of paper on the scale.
The eyes of the grocer and the customer were drawn to the scale. To their amazement the pan went down, and stayed down!! The grocer said begrudgingly, “I can’t believe it,” as he started putting groceries in the other pan of the scale. He continued to put groceries until the pan could hold no more, and the scale was still not balanced. The grocer stood there in utter disgust. Finally he grabbed the piece of paper and looked at it carefully.
It was not a grocery list. It was a prayer that said: Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands.
The stunned grocer gave her the groceries that were on the scale and stood silently in awe. She thanked him and the other gentleman and left. The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said, ‘It was worth every penny of it. Only God knows how much a prayer weighs.’
Dear friends, as you read this touching story what thoughts crossed your mind? What a nice story... it is after all only a story! These miracles happen only in fables! How kind of the other customer to pay for her groceries. Why should she beg, why did she not work to earn her living? The grocer was a mean fellow. Such wondrous things don’t happen in reality.....
I share this story with you only to make you realise how cynical we have become. We do not want to believe in mystery, magic and miracles, in faith and fellowship, in God and his goodness. Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘Everyone has faith in God but may not know it, for everyone has faith in himself and that multiplied to the nth degree is faith in God.’
This story was not shared to encourage dependence on others. It was shared because we need to believe that while many things are within our control, there are a few that are not and sometimes we need to surrender to a greater spirit and ask for guidance when we feel the control slipping out of our hands.
To be successful and happy we need 99 per cent perspiration and 1 per cent inspiration. That one per cent keeps us afloat when in spite of our best effort we find we are not succeeding. It is this one per cent that Edison called inspiration, Sri Sri Ravi Sankar calls faith, Bishop Desmond Tutu calls the warm fire, Mother Teresa calls love, and Infosys founder Narayanamurthy calls peace and hope.
Each day the newspaper brings us news of conflict and confusion, murder, violence and victimisation of the weak. In spite of this I urge you to believe that there is hope for society and us... there is still goodness around.
We need to keep this hope alive to make us empathetic, caring, happy, loving individuals. Every day we are told in class that the world is full of competition and we have to struggle to succeed and get ahead in the race. I urge you to work hard, be alert to everything around you, be logical and rational, but I also ask you while running this rat race not to become a rat, not to lose out on your goodness and belief in the goodness of others!
As Narayanamurthy says, ‘While confronting difficult situations you need hope, and that hope comes from your belief that there is somebody out there to help you.’
We have to keep faith and hope ever alive within us.