Recently I was chit chatting with my Aunt who shared an experience she had with my father about 30 years ago. She had gone to my father for some advice. My father asked her a question, “do you believe in destiny?” to which my aunt replied “Yes.”
My father went on to say that it was fine to believe in destiny, but also it was important for us to realize that we all have the power to make decisions within the bounds of destiny. He shared with my aunt a powerful anecdote.
He compared life with an Indian thali. He said life is like a thali, which comes with pre- served items in small bowls, some rice, some chappatis with or without a dessert.
He said, if you find that the dal you have been served, is too thick, one can always add some water to it. If one feels that a chappati has too much oil, rub a dry chappati to soak the excess oil. If one feels like having a dessert, and none is on the thali, one can always add some sugar to the yogurt, and have it.
By making decisions to create new things with the existing, by adding or subtracting and mixing what we have, we all can live better lives.
Each and every one of us have the power and the responsibility to make the right decisions in the framework of what is served to us and savor a vibrant life.
A functional person is flexible, objective, and multi-dimensional, where as a dysfunctional person resists change, subjective and narrow.
I remember once I walked up to my father and shared with him my desire to increase the professional fees I was charging for the seminars and workshops I was conducting. My father looked at me and with a glint of smile in his eyes, responded “I am an ant, for me a drop is a flood.” I was quite energized by his response, although I did go on to increase my fees in the subsequent years, but I learnt a lesson, as long as we keep our egos in check and learn to savour what we have, getting more will add to the vibrancy, but if we are constantly unhappy with our current situation, even if we do manage to get more, we will continue being unhappy, and ultimately resign ourselves to complacency and cynicism.
The great Abebe Bikila, who was the first Sub-Saharan African to win an Olympic gold medal in the marathon event in Rome in 1960, ran bare feet. He was asked as to why he had run the marathon bare feet, he answered “I wanted the whole world to know that my country, Ethiopia, has always won with determination and heroism.”
I am reminded of a quote, “I was sad for I had no shoes, till I saw a person with no feet.”
The lesson to be learned is to appreciate what we have and to make the right decisions to create abundance for self and others.
You and I are blessed with a thali, and for sure we can do far more than what we are served and savour the abundance of being human.
I wish all the readers and abundant festive season.
Article by Vijay Michihito Batra