Read on how to enrich your life by purpose, i.e. to find depth and, a reason to get out of bed each morning, your own Ikigai.
To make a difference in the world, even a small positive step can be enough – there is no need for grand actions. A personal story of one woman educating her domestic help.
“To make a difference in someone’s life, you don’t have to be brilliant or perfect. All you have to do is just care for them. Educate every child that YOU can, especially a girl.” – author unknown
No matter how educated, talented, cool or rich you believe you are, how you treat people around you tells it ALL. Today I want to share an incidence from my own life where I took a small step forward for a positive change.
Exactly 9 years back, I was a fulltime working mom. I live in a nuclear setup in the big city Mumbai where a corporate job never ends up being a 9-5 gig. Though I am fortunate to have married a very supportive husband, a reliable and steady maid holds the key to bringing in that much needed work-life balance once the baby arrives.
The initial few months were bumpy, with maids walking in and out every 4-5 months. Some wanted to quit for better prospects, others got fired due to unsatisfactory ethics. If it was not for my own mom, who stood by me, I would have quit just around then.
After many rounds of short-term hires, around the time my kid was 2 years old, Asha walked in. When she came, her name didn’t make any special impact on me. It was like any previous bai – Geeta, Sarita or Lata. Frail, docile, quiet, she kept to herself and her work.
It’s only over the years that she spent in our house, that I understood what her name really meant. With a desire to work, she gave her 100% to my child and my house. True to her name she took charge, not only in doing her duty, but by building that delicate bond with my child. I could trust her, so I could continue with my job.
2.5 years later, it was time for her to leave. By now, I wasn’t working. So I didn’t need her as desperately. She wanted to pursue a degree in nursing. She wanted to go for a 3 year residential programme at a reputed private nursing college in Vishakhapatnam. I think I didn’t mention that she had completed her graduation from her village near Ranchi before she came to work in Mumbai.
How far did I care for her when it was time for her to exit? NO, she did not ask me for money. But I knew that the small savings she had, would give her family a relatively more comfortable life back there in the village, so I decided to fund her studies. I wanted her to have a better shot at life. The life of a trained ‘Sister’ at the hospital.
She is in her 6th semester now, getting ready for campus placement. The expenses were close to my own corporate job’s 4 month’s salary at a time when I was NOT working. But then there is no greater joy than the JOY of giving. No one has ever become poor from giving.
To make a difference in someone’s life, you don’t have to be brilliant or perfect. All you have to do is just care for them. Educate every child that YOU can, especially a girl.
Drop a line in the comment box about an incident in your own life, where you (or anyone you came across) took a small step forward for a positive change.
A version fo this was previously published here.
Image source: a still from the movie Kayala
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