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Monday, January 8, 2007

I am only one

I complained once to my mother that she was being too strict…and that because she wouldn’t let me buy another pair of those beautiful sandals. My best friend had just bought her 3 rd pair and I wanted one just like that too…me and my mother squabbled all the way down the road…I was so engrossed in making my point clear to my mother that I wasn’t looking where I was headed and I crashed headlong into a small girl walking towards me.

She stretched out her little grubby palm towards me in the hope of getting at least a 25 paisa coin. I looked at her small round face. With a bit of soap and effort she would most definitely look like a little angel. Her eyes, as black as currents peered at me earnestly. It was raining outside and windy too. The child had nothing on her except for a torn, worn dress which gave no clue as to what its colour was. She wore nothing on her bare feet and she was standing in a pool of murky water that was overflowing from the drains. I looked down at my own well covered and protected, pedicured feet.


I would be lying if said that I gave up my money that I had set aside for my sandals to the poor girl. I would be lying still if I said I dint buy the sandals after all, because I did. But it would never be a lie if I said that the image of the poor little child and her bare legs never taunted me...it did and it does still…I think of her almost every time I put on that sandals. I wish now that I had not bought them. And I wish I had given the little child something better than a measly 2 rupee coin.

I come across many a small child on the street but none left the kind of impression on me than this girl. I wonder what it was that makes me remember her even now almost 2 years after I met her. I always felt sympathy towards the under privileged, I wished someone would do some thing for them. But now I realize…it’s not just” some one “who is got to help them…it is me. It is me who ahs got to do some thing. It is me who has to feel empathy and not sympathy…It is me who’s got to lend a helping hand… as Edward Everett Hale says-“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.

Even if it is a matter of giving up my watching of my favourite soap on television (I can always catch the repeat later), or if it is a matter of skipping the premiers of a much awaited movie (I can always watch it later) or if it is skipping a party (my friends are still going to be there for me) I will definitely try to do my bit to help my lesser lucky sisters and brothers.

Marian Wright Edelman once said- We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.
And that is going to be motto…to do what ever I can, do what little I can, to live as simply as I can, so that many others may simply-live. After all no one really knows what is in future for us…we might end up just like some of them, alone and uncared for…if that is what is in store for us maybe God will help us out there sending us angels to help us…just like he is helping out some others by sending us to them as angels…

1 comment:

Harish said...

a one of a kind read though reality may rarefy the resolve :)