I have learned…
That lessons are not always learned in classrooms. This not a new realisation to the world, but to me, it evokes the same wonder & childish glee every single time I come across proof of it.
Our life lessons, more valuable than any other, that helps us to be a better human being, are learned from the best teachers – people around us.
In today’s world, when we are so busy racing towards some materialistic goal or trying to live up to the expectations of an ordinary life (and sometimes the desire for an extraordinary one), to come across teachers who teach us how to ‘live’ has become a rarity.
But, there are still those beautiful souls scattered around the world, who bring a little light to someone else’s life with a little something, a little lesson…
I was sitting in a class one day – you know, one of those personality development types. The chair I was sitting on was of a very ‘revolutionary’ design, making long periods of sitting a pain. When I couldn’t take it any longer, I got up and went to to the back of the room where the course coordinators were seated behind the registration desk. I took an empty seat next to one of them.
She was a distant acquaintance; we had studied at the same high school, she two years ahead of me. I gave her a smile and settled down in the very ordinary plastic chair which is also extremely comfortable (seriously, they’re the best).
Some time later, she opened her bag and took out a small keepsake box covered in Chinese silk. It was the kind that you opened to find a mirror on one side and a hollow space to store keepsakes on the other. It had obviously seen some use, judging from it’s dulled gold clasp and at places frayed silk.
As I looked on from the corner of my eye, she stared down at the box for a few seconds and then offered it to me!
I gave her a bewildered book.
“Take it”, she said. “It’s for you.”
To say I was surprised would be an understatement. I felt bad that maybe she had noticed me noticing from the corner of my eye, and thought I wanted it.
“For me?! No it’s alright. I dont want it.”
“No, no. Please take it.”
“No reason. Just because. Take it.”
Brushing aside my protestations, she pressed the box into my hand and turned back to the teacher as if nothing had happened.
As I looked down at that little box with all it’s imperfections, and soft, supple silk, and intricately carved gold clasp, I felt a thrill of wonder, bemusement and surprisingly, compassion for this girl being stirred within me.
Random acts of kindness may be random, and small, or trivial, and not have much thought behind them, but they can never be insignificant and go unnoticed and unappreciated. They never fail to bring a smile on a face, brighten someone’s day, and spread love and joy.
So everyday, make it a point to do a random act of kindness for atleast one person. The more, the merrier. And I’m not saying that we have to go around handing over our stuff to others. No. It’s ‘random’, remember? So it can be anything! Even a smile counts!
Even if you’re down in the dumps and dont feel like being sociable, push yourself, and offer let’s say, a smile to another person. I guarantee you, your mood will lift, atleast a bit. It’s impossible to maintain the same level of dejection when you know you’ve made someone’s day better.
So go ahead! Give it a try! Make someone’s day better, and see how it brightens your own life!
Truth be told, I dont remember much about that day’s or teacher, but I still hold on to that little box and in my opinion, the girl who sat next to me was the better teacher.