A little gratitude helps us a long way.
Grumbling is easy. Almost everyone in their life has grumbled at some point-human nature. Grumbling never helps. We know this but choose to ignore it. But I read a story where grumbling was not an option for this girl. She would have been content with whatever she got. Even the cheapest of its kind would have been the best for her. Not because she did not deserve the best, but she could not afford the best. Ironically, she couldn’t even get the inexpensive variant of what she wanted.
The girl’s name was Aishwarya. “Was” because she is no more in this world. By all accounts, she was a bright student studying in one of the country’s best institutions. She had big dreams, and why not? Everyone has one life, so you want to live up to your full potential, achieve your dreams.
She dreamt of joining the much sought after Indian Administrative Service (I.A.S), and one must pass the civil service examination (C.S.E) to join the I.A.S. In India, getting into I.A.S is like an actor/actress achieving their dream of receiving the best actor/actress award at Oscars. Every year around a million graduates apply for C.S.E. Around, or less than 1000 are selected for various services. And only the top 80 out of 1000 selected get into I.A.S.
Her dreams were crushed even before she could take concrete steps to achieve it. Her dreams were not crushed because she could not qualify for the exam. Her dreams were crushed because she came from a low-income family.
The college she was studying in was conducting online classes and although attending online classes through the mobile phone was not inconvenient, practical exams that were to follow couldn’t be answered through mobile. She knew her family couldn’t afford a laptop, but exams were approaching. She chose the hard way. Her suicide note read: “No one is responsible for my death. I don’t want to become a burden on the family. I can’t live without studying. I was thinking about it, and this [death] is the only way left for me.”
For many of us- I was one of them- we can’t live with studying. Studying is a burden for several students. But for Aishwarya, studying was indispensable. Many of us complain that we have a hp or dell and not a Macbook though a hp or dell is more than we need for our usage. It reminds me of a quote: I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.
This story moved me and made me realize the importance of gratitude in our lives. We take things for granted and feel entitled. We often grumble because our peers or neighbours have a newer version of what we have although the article we possess serves our purpose. I am not saying we mustn’t demand the best of what we want to buy but before buying anything if we can trace the source of our desire for it-enviousness or a genuine need-, we may be content with what we have, and in the process, uplift the lives of people around us. We can help one of Aishwarya’s around us instead of trying to satiate our insatiable desire.