Let Us Struggle Today and Dream for a Better Tomorrow
INSPIRATIONAL, 24 Apr 2017
24 Apr 2017 – Our modern society is complex and everyone has some problem or another. The problem could be financial, or it may arise when you have had a quarrel with your girl friend. Families are also not immune to some conflict or another between the husband and wife or between the parents and their children. Place of work be it an office or a school or a college has its own share of difficulties that lead to problems or conflicts or isolation.
In Indian villages, water or rather its absence is a source of acute problem and frustration. Women have to trudge long distances to bring a pot or two (on their heads) of clean water for domestic use. Even when there is a pond or a well, the water is do dirty or saline because of pollution, that even animals find it difficult to drink the dirty water.
Another source of anxiety in small towns is how to get some job after finishing school or College. In such a situation when we meet each other we try to unburden ourselves by sharing the problems we are suffering from. The problem does not go away but it becomes easier to bear it and to carry on with our daily lives.
Recently I met a young man who had come from a small town from Bihar. Students come to study in big cities for education and others come for any employment they may find. They first go to some relative or friend and live there for a few days while looking for some possibility of employment. They are usually hardy people but sometimes their spirit gives way and the failure to get any employment makes them leave their friend’s home and return to their villages unhappy and disenchanted.
I met a young man who had come for education and was staying with his elder sister while seeking admission to some college for doing his Masters program in social sciences. Apart from his sister where he was staying he had no other contact and had almost no money. But despite that he continued with his efforts and after a few weeks got admission to a college in the University of Delhi.
After a few weeks of this I met him in a Library and we started a conversation. After the usual questions I asked him how he liked the city. He smiled and gave a positive response.
“And what about money?”
“Oh I manage; I teach yoga to some students and manage my daily expenses”, he replied.
“It must be very hard on you”, I persisted.
“No, not at all. I have no problems”.
“No problems?” I asked in disbelief.
“Oh yes. I have a problem.”
And what is it? I felt slightly relieved that he was admitting to some difficulty. “My problem is that I have no problem. Yes, there are difficulties of one type or the other but I do not feel depressed or frustrated. I manage to overcome these difficulties. And that is why I do not feel any problem”. He smiled broadly. I felt puzzled but could not but agree with him.
A little later when I was alone I wondered what he had said about not being burdened by any problems. I remembered a quotation of a person named Anthony Robbins who had said that every problem is a gift; without problems we would not grow.
I felt that my young friend whose name was Ram, probably believed in this idea; he must be facing problems but somehow with his inner strength and resilience he was able to overcome them and remained peaceful and calm.
Another thought also entered my mind — yes; we all have problems but being able to deal with them without being burdened or troubled by them, helps us to remain calm and composed and to face any challenges that come our way.
Ram had come from a small town in Bihar where the culture, the languages spoken and the type of education imparted were all different from what was seen in a big city like Delhi. Delhi was a small city both in number of people living in the city as well as in area when India became independent from the British rule in 1947. Although the British masters had transferred the capital from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911, the city was still small with a distinctive ethos that had been cultivated by the earlier kingdoms that ruled the city and its environs. The British were the latest rulers but their impact was to be seen more in what is called Lutyens Delhi with its magnificent buildings, broad avenues and big trees that they had planted. However for the majority of the population, people’s tastes in terms of food, or music and dance or the languages spoken were distinctive from those of the British rulers.
Delhi had grown rapidly with the establishment of Colleges, government offices, business centres that offered opportunities for education and employment and after some time outsiders felt part of the city. In fact they added to its vibrancy and ethos. Like others, Ram was able to adjust to the city life. He did receive some help from his sister – financial as well as in making him familiar with the big city.
Delhi’s slogan should now be: “Welcome to Delhi my friends wherever you come from.”
Some weeks later I met Ram again and asked him,
“You must have adjusted to the big city life?’
“Yes and no,” he replied.
“How is that?”
“You know, like Martin Luther King, who had a dream to rid his society of racism and injustice, I also had a dream. His dream was big, it was revolutionary. My dream was a small one – to rid my family in Bihar of poverty and backwardness. My dream continues”.
After a few moments he continued, “The journey is long but I am confident that I will succeed”.
I felt overwhelmed by Ram’s dream. I wish I could also dream like him to make our country a better one.
Let us all wish for a better tomorrow.
Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment, an educationist and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 24 Apr 2017.
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