A couple of weekends ago, the daughter and a group of girls form the dance school performed for a charity fundraiser. The organization was a few years old and does specific sponsorship of children both in India and out here. They are commendable in their efforts and on the accomplishments so far.
What was different and made the whole evening poignant was when the organizer invited on stage a certain young man to come up and talk. The man would have been in his late 20’s early 30’s and looked like any desi professional out here. His talk, not certainly perfect but poignant for the words he used, the expressions his face conveyed and the enunciations spoke volumes.
He started by saying “Ladies and Gentlemen of this evening, today if I am wearing a suit, standing here on US soil, talking perfect english while I make a six figure salary during the week is because of a generous person, just like any of you sitting here, who sponsored me and my education from when I was 9 all the way to college. I am an orphan and was rotting in the slums of Visakhapatnam before my Guardian Angel found me. Look at me now.”
After a moment’s silence, the modest audience applauded the man’s courage, pride and the dignity with which he continued talking and showing us how he stood as living proof of the difference $25/month could make for someone in need. He spoke some more on logistics, details, the ease and the quality of emotional ties and investments one can afford with $25 in hand and left the stage to sit across us.
As the evening wore on, the impact of the visual and his words sunk in more than I imagined it would.
Am no good at saying ‘no’, and the only place that makes me feel proud of saying ‘yes’ and not a ‘no’ is when I can support or share what I have, not just in the form of money, but anything intangible too. It’s a gift and am not shy or embarrassed to say I possess it. What good is something when it doesn’t bring a smile or happiness to one other person at least?
Ultimately, as I always believe in, feed a mouth today, he starves tomorrow. Feed the brain, and the stomach will be taken care of forever. Sometimes the cost of a large pizza is all it takes to get a kid to finish off one grade back home. One month’s car payment can help someone through a basic undergraduate education. It isn’t that we cannot do, we must just want to do.
The evening ended with a relatively lesser known saying of Mother Teresa:
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, People may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, People may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.
I add here to all my friends who are atheists and agnostics:
You must believe in you if not God. Make a difference anyway.
Go ahead, register your blog and write a quick post on it. You got a whole day!