Just Living Is Not Enough

Posted: October 26, 2018
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Every day we get up, cook food, get the kids dressed up and then get dressed and go for work. We come back from work and then clean up, eat, homework, chat, and watch television.

This monotonous routine was biting two girls Diya and Riya. They were successful as mothers, wives and career women but something was amiss in their lives. They pondered and thought whether they were really making a difference in people’s lives? How would people remember them as?

They thought of doing charities but they just did not want to join an organization and work for them. They wanted to make an impact on one person at a time. They strongly believed that charity begins at home. They started going through their cupboards, and found many clothes which had not been worn in years. Instead of just giving it to charity, they went to a nearby slum and saw many people wearing torn clothes and some not even wearing clothes, but just had rags hanging to their body to cover the intimate parts. They gave the clothes to these people. These people thanked them generously. Diya and Riya felt a warm glow in their heart.

Then they asked their maids about which school their kids were going to or whether they could even afford an education. Upon hearing that some of the maids’ kids did not go to school, they decided to approach the government schools and ask whether they would admit these kids. Diya and Riya knew these schools offered education free cost, but still, they gave some money as a donation.

They bought the maids’ kids some clothes and school bags. But they did not want the kids to think that these Aunties were doing them a favour. In return, they asked the kids to do some drawing and painting for them. Diya and Riya then took these paintings and had them framed in their rooms. The kids’ faces beamed in joy when they saw their paintings alongside expensive artwork being displayed. They felt a pride in themselves. Diya and Riya’s heart became warmer.

Then Diya and Riya took their kids to a street children school where there was only a tin shed and kids sat there and studied. Diya and Riya’s kids got a shock as they thought schools meant air-conditioned rooms with proper desks and chairs. Diya asked their kids to sit with the other children. Then Riya asked how many kids wanted clothes. Diya’s kids also raised their hands as they thought they would get more clothes. But when they looked around, they saw that some of the other kids were not even wearing a t-shirt. They felt ashamed and quickly put their hands down. Diya’s kids realized that not everyone is as fortunate as them. They went home, brought back some of their extra stationery and books for these kids. Diya and Riya’s face now glowed with happiness.

Every year in Diya’s house there would be a grandeur Durga Puja celebration and thousands of rupees would be spent on buying food, puja accessories etc. Diya thought that God exists in all of us. What is the use of enjoying all of this excess food when we could be better at sharing with others? Instead of just feeding her rich friends, Diya went out and called the street beggars to her house. She placed chairs and tables and made them sit. She offered them the puja lunch which consisted of khichuri, labra, and chutney. She ensured these beggars were well treated and not looked down upon. As the beggars ate happily, Diya felt her heart again getting warm. The beggars thanked her with folded hands. Diya felt that today she had made Ma Durga happy. Diya knew that these beggars like her would not go to sleep on an empty stomach that day.

In Riya’s building, they were celebrating Independence Day with great festivity. Over one lakh rupees was raised. But Riya was not happy. She wanted the Independence Day to not just be a celebration, but have a deeper meaning. Just like how Mahatma Gandhi alongside several brave freedom fighters had made a huge impact on our nation, Riya wanted to do something. She thought of using some of the money to get comprehensive health check-up for the security staff and house-keeping. Riya knew that these people barely got Rs 10,000 monthly and would send the money to their families in villages instead of taking care of themselves. She knew that the security staff worked hard to ensure the building was safe and that Riya could stay at home feeling secure.

The housekeeping personnel every day took her trash and never complained and they guaranteed that the floors were sparkling clean. Instead of just giving a meal to the working staff, Riya made a greater impact on their lives. After the check-up, the staff realised some of the deficiencies they were having, and Riya took them to a local doctor who individually prescribed the appropriate medicine for each of them. This deed made the Independence Day even more meaningful as it showed that everyone is important in the community, irrespective of their status and caste. The staff now would smile and salute Riya but honestly as they were happy that someone had thought of their health.

Everyone would go and give money to charities or sponsor a meal on their birthdays. But this year, Diya and Riya (who shared the same birthday) decided to do something different. They asked a shelter when it was one of their orphan’s birthday. They randomly picked a 6-year-old girl. On her birthday, Diya and Riya went and gave a surprise party to that girl. There was cake, pastries, chocolates, balloons, games, clowns, dolls etc. The girl was so elated. She could not believe that two strangers would come and celebrate her birthday. She wept in joy. The cake had her name Anahita written on it. She just could not believe it. Then Diya and Riya told her that there is a family who has no kids and would like to take her home, if she agreed. This girl was first a little scared, but then she agreed to give it a try. This family brought her home and adopted her. They raised her as their own girl. An orphan got a chance to have a happy family.

Riya loved gardening but she hated buying plants from the expensive nurseries. Then she discovered ‘The Association for People with Disabilities.’ Here people who had twisted legs or were missing a leg or hand were working with plants. They were not just sitting or begging on the roads. They were earning money through planting and taking care of plants. The people who would buy their plants would help these people. Riya cried when she saw these people. They could hardly walk but they helped Riya carry her plants to her car. Riya promised that from now on she would only buy plants from here as it meant she was helping someone in need and making her Earth green.

Diya and Riya through these actions realized that life is more than just working or cooking or running after kids. It is about making a difference in people’s lives, one day at a time. People will remember them for the good deeds rather than how much money they made or how many dishes they cooked. Instead of just living a life, today these two dear friends appreciated life even more. This was just a start. Every day they would think of more innovative and touching ways of helping people in need. Their lives now had a purpose to live.

Image Source – Pixabay

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