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      Volume 10 |Issue 28 | July 22, 2011 |


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Words Holding Magic

Tulip Chowdhury

The other day I was on the train going to down town Boston. At Andrew station a lady boarded the train with two twins in a baby carriage. The train compartment was crowded and so she was finding it extremely difficult to place the carriage without waking the two sleeping babies. I got up from my seat and offered her to sit and hold the carriage in front of her.

She smiled at me, a warm smile with her blue eyes looking at me gratefully and said,

“Oh thank you !I suppose we all need help at times!” I was surprised how simply she had come up with a truth that touches our lives. Indeed we all need help, at certain stages of our life. We cannot live alone. Right from the moment of our birth we need help to survive in this big world. Mom started with the first feed and the diaper changes. As we grow older, friends and family stand by our side helping us to get along, to ride the waves that life brings. As adults we find our own family, more friends and colleagues; they all surround us like a solid wall.

Mother Teresa was like the flame of a candle and she helped millions of people. She showed them light in the dark world of poverty and neglect. She was the sheer epitome of what love for humanity could accomplish. She taught us that the ladder of love has thousand steps. She touched the souls of thousands. As she said, “See how nature, trees, flowers grow in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…we need silence to be able touch souls.”

We touch the souls of others through empathy. It is through our compassion that we reach the hearts of other people. In life we go through sadness and happiness. When we share happiness we spread the lights of life. Everyone needs a shoulder to lean on. And so in our sad hours we need the others to share the grief. Sharing makes life easier. And happiness, when shared grows by heaps and bounds. A sympathetic word, an understanding smile is like holding out a hand of friendship. It is said that God smiles when one holds out the hands to another fellow being. We are not in this world to live a solitary life. When there is big, big world outside, when there are countless people to know, what can be more exciting than to know the world?

You never know what lies round the corner. Life can come up with a catastrophe at any moment. Life is riddled with sadness and happiness. Sharing takes away half the load. A word of sympathy, a touch of understanding and helping out a friend in need makes God smile at his creations. True humanity is about helping out people who are in need. There is no end to human sufferings. The fearless people cross boundaries and go across seven seas to help the war torn masses, to help the sick and stand beside people in grief. People reach out to the far flung areas through NGOs and other voluntary organisations. People working with the United Nations or Red Cross can be found to be meeting people in need at remotest areas of the world. When pain and suffering of people touch the soul one need not always wait for the big jump. It is said that charity begins at home. There might be relatives or neighbours in need of help.

Life is a short journey for each of us. If we want to extend helping hands to our fellow beings we must do so while the sun shines. We do not have endless hours before us. God sends us with the destined time. The time that flies by never comes back and nor do all the opportunities. How often we are tormented by lost opportunities at the later stages of life! It is said that we have to grab the chances that come to us. A chance to help others should be considered a streak of luck and taken full advantage of. And when we give, we are to give whole heartedly.

As Kahlil Gibran says of giving,

“..there are those who have little and give it all. These are believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer in never empty. There are those who give with pain and that pain is their baptism. And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue. They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breaths its fragrance into space. You give when you truly give of yourself.”


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