Have you ever, at any one time, had the feeling that life is bad, real bad, that you have reached your nadir, and you wish you were in another situation? You find life make things difficult for you, work sucks, life sucks, and everything seems to go wrong. Well, not if you consider the following experience.
After a conversation with one of my friends, he told me despite taking two Jobs, he brings back home barely above $1000 per month. He is happy as he is. I wonder how he can be as happy as he is considering he has to skimp his life with the low pay to support a pair of old parents, in-laws, a wife, two daughters and the many bills of a household. He explained that it was through one incident that he saw in India.
That happened a few years ago when he was really feeling low and touring India after a major setback. He said that right in front of his very eyes he saw an Indian mother chop off her child’s right hand with a chopper. The helplessness in the mother’s eyes, the scream of pain from the innocent 4-year-old child haunted him until today. You might ask why did the mother do so: had the child been naughty, had the child’s hand been infected?
No, it was done for two simple words- to beg! The desperate mother deliberately caused the child to be handicapped so that the child could go out to the streets to beg. Taken aback by the scene, he dropped a piece of bread he was eating half-way. And almost instantly, a flock of 5 or 6 children swamped towards this small piece of bread which was covered with sand, robbing bits from one another, the natural reaction from hunger.
Stricken by the happenings, he instructed his guide to drive him to the nearest bakery. He arrived at two bakeries and bought every single loaf of bread he found in the bakeries. The owner was dumbfounded but willingly sold everything. He spent less than $100 to obtain about 400 loaves of bread (this is less than $0.25 per loaf) and spent another $100 to get daily necessities. Off he went in the truck full of bread into the streets.
As he distributed the bread and necessities to the children (mostly handicapped) and a few adults, he received cheers and bows from these unfortunate. For the first time in his life he wondered how people can give up their dignity for a loaf of bread which cost less than $0.25. He began to tell himself how fortunate he is. How fortunate he is to be able to have a complete body, have a job, have a family, have the chance to complain what food is nice and what isn’t nice, have the chance to be clothed, have the many things that these people in front of him are deprived of.
Now I begin to think and feel it, too! Was my life really that bad? Perhaps, no, I should not feel bad at all. I have great reasons to be grateful for the basic sustenance I all ready have, thankful to those people who mean something to me, to those who have touched my life in one way or another, to those who make me smile when I really need it, and to those that make me see the brighter side of things when I am really down.
What about you? Maybe the next time you think you are in dire straits, think about the child who lost one hand to beg on the streets. “Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want; it is the realization of how much you already have.” When the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we look so long at the closed door that we don’t see the one which has been opened for us.
It’s true that we don’t know what we’ve got until we lose it, but it’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives. The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past, you can’t go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.