The ability to view each day as our favourite day would be one of the best possessions we can have. Looking at the crack of day with renewed zest as well as gratitude, breathing in the smell of freshly mowed grass on the campus, and watching the new buds on the roses are a few of the blessings I begin my days with. There are many gifts that life brings every day helping me surmount the cynicism tickled up by various reports in the newspapers and the television channels.
Life is magnanimous enough to bring occasional, unusual surprises too. A meeting I happened to attend just a fortnight back was one such experience. I wrote a blog about it to celebrate the joy it added to my life. The city of Delhi which invariably comes across in the news reports as a place of ruthless selfishness and heartless rat race revealed a new face to me that day. I witnessed the city’s altruism, the readiness to render help to the needy and the oppressed irrespective of religious or ideological affiliations.
My optimism that floats nimbly above the grimness and sordidness of the reality is born of simple things such as that meeting. It is the optimism that Howard Zinn erected “on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.” What we choose to emphasise will determine the course of our life, added Zinn. We can choose to love even when we see hatred spreading its tentacles. We can choose to help others in spite of the mounting egotism all around. Utopia need not be a romantic dream; our little deeds of goodness create our little utopia.
Days after that meeting of the NGO, there is one face that refuses to fade from my memory. It is the smiling face of a young girl of about twelve years. She was the anchor for a small part of the meeting: the cultural programme put up by the children who were some of the beneficiaries of the NGO’s programmes in Delhi. She stood on the stage wearing a white gown and a beaming smile. While introducing the song and the dance she spoke about what the NGO did for her people. She didn’t rattle out any litany of deeds and achievements. Her words were expressions of joy, an idiom of the zest for life that welled up from deep within, an ode to unflinching optimism.
Such spirit is contagious. Such spirit connects people with one another in ways that are perhaps intangible. That spirit is like the rain which originates vaporously on the earth and then returns to its birthplace giving it renewed vigour.
Inspired by the Look Up theme of Housing.