Nation on the March

Nation on the March
Nation on the March

Oct 29, 2009

Either Curse & Go Away or Stop and Do Something!!

How many times have we encountered a pot hole on the road, a big boulder, some obstruction on our way? Quite often. And most often, the first response is to wriggle through the available space and move ahead – of course only after we have completed our quota of blaming and cursing!

A routine news item caught attention two days ago in a local paper. There is a picturesque location just 70 odd km from Baroda. It is called Zarwani water falls and tourists throng there, especially during  this pleasant season for trekking, swimming and of course a look at the giant Sardar Sarovar dam on river Narmada.. (photo  from the  blog

A routine mishap of some people drowning happened this month – like it keeps happening at all picnic spots that have an opportunity to swim or bathe. Some victims lucky to safely come out  themselves, some are saved by nearby persons and others  not so lucky never come out and family members keep looking for the body in this great water mass.

The accident I read about was like this: Diwali holidays. Large family group travels long distance. Nine of them start drowning in Zarwani water body. Eight could save themselves with difficulty. One 12 year old boy Nisarg Parikh is drowning helplessly. A young tribal boy of fourteen, Girish Vasava uses his strength and skill to bring this young boy out safely. The boy is saved. The families are in deep gratitude for the providential help.Normally a news item stops at this. . Real news story unfolds now:

Not content with their good fortune of bringing home all the dear ones  in tact, the families visited the spot  once again. First they performed religious prayers to the river and offered nine coconuts. Then they proceeded to reward the brave boy. They thanked him and the family, left behind not just food grains and edible oil for the tribal family but gave cash reward to the boy and …. And …and they did something more life-changing than what one can routinely think of! 

They volunteered to bear the total cost of further education of this brave boy. This much for the family. For other tourists, they carried oil paint and painted warning signs on the rocks nearby – because there were no such warning signs to caution them of the danger. Our salute to this great effort of Sheth and Parikh family from Ahmedabad and Halol !

Because they neither did curse their misfortune nor the decision to swim ( or to travel), nor the authorities, their lapses, blah, blah. They did some thing simple : they acted. In this way, they set one shining example !

The questions that come to the mind are simple and many: 

  • This was a simple looking alright,  gesture but how often do we stop short of doing it? 
  • We appreciate it when others do it. But then why it does not occurs to us? Or why  we conveniently discard the thought of actually doing it after it did occurr to us? 
  • Why do we succumb to the self-limiting thoughts like , “ some one else is paid for taking this care , so why me “ or “ there is no end to doing  such things now? " or "why no one else is coming forward" or " where is the time” or “ it is not humanly possible”, etc ? 
  • Why do we forget that only humans can perform the super-human tasks, which were considered impossible? We can do any thing we set our sights upon because we do not have labels stuck on us that define our capacity (like 5 hp, or 500 kg, or 40kmph)?

One very inspiring anecdote comes to my mind :

An English language  teacher was teaching  the class about opposite words. She asked one child the opposite of ‘ theft’ and the young one answered “ Madam, it is 'charity' ” The teacher corrected her, saying " it is 'honesty', my dear".

The child was adamant that her answer was right. On being asked to explain , she said that if ‘theft' means taking away something that does not belong to us, than its correct opposite word would be 'charity' which means giving away some thing  that belongs to us” Her definition of the opposite took a step further, not stopping short and being content at staying honest! To her, it was important to walk that extra step from honesty and go up to charity, to help, to support, to empathize !

Few decades ago  one article titled “ Bringing Rainbow to Work” had appeared in  Reader’s Digest magazine. It prompted the readers  to do a little bit more than what is expected of them, walk one extra step without any expectation for being thanked or compensated and thereby bring "rainbow to our work".  

The author had mentioned a story about  a pond that was being reconstructed in a small village. When the work was over and the water was to be filled up on the appointed night , all the residents gathered in the morning to cast their eager  glances upon the   new pond. They were overjoyed, not because it was full with fresh water once again after a long time ….. But ….but because the people in charge had not forgotten to buy some ducks with ducklings  and they were pedalling  merrily in water and making the picture complete !

He called this as minute detail to attention and takin a small extra step “ bringing rainbow to our work”

The hurdle often begins with the self-limiting  negative thoughts. How do we overcome the habit of using such  negative phrases which not permit us to reach our peak performance? First of all, identify them and secondly, do not utter them, or even think of them. Continue the good work, uninterrupted by them. 

Chris Melton has prepared a list of 101 such negative phrases and has encouraged readers  to  expand his  list ( )

Does not this post remind you of some inspiring incident, some uplifting thought, some unforgettable experience that you also had? It could be about a small and simple step of bringing rainbow to work by ordinary people in ordinary matters in our ordinary life.  

Then don't wait. Please be kind enough to add it here as a comment.We all are keen to read it and see it set the inspirational ball rolling !!