I just had an opportunity to be a spectator on the annual sports day of my 4 year old daughter. Sports day of 4 year old ones!! That sounds amazing, in fact jocular. When I heard that my daughter’s school is organizing sports day for the kids of preparatory group, I had my reservations about it. Today’s competitive world has made me paranoid. Thankfully, I shed my paranoia. I sent my kid to participate in the sports day and also visited school to be a spectator.
What I discovered during those two hours was refreshing. In their innocent style, kids unintentionally reminded me those lessons which I know to be true but I have comfortably pushed them to oblivion. And here I am reiterating what they reminded me.
Life is a Race, Really??
So, the kids took their positions, ready at the starting line. They had to crawl to the finish lines. The whistle blew, and a chaotic race began. Few kids gawked innocently at the cheering spectators. They were perhaps astonished at what the noise was about. For them it was just a play not a race. There was one kid who was well on the way to win the race but suddenly he found some trinket on the floor. There he stopped, picked up the trinket and started investigating it with his questioning eyes. The race was over but that kid had earned a possession which perhaps was more valuable to him than any medal. The kid had a glimmer of delight in the eyes.
Life is a process to the finish line. Being a winner is not a necessary condition to be happy. In fact neither is it a sufficient condition. The track to finish line has many trinkets on the way. Somehow in the quest to finish quickly, knowingly and unknowingly we have left behind innumerable trinkets. The finish line is uncertain and the only certainty is the experience to the finish line. Life is a process to be enjoyed; a 4 year old reiterated this lesson.
We are naturally selfless:
The second race began. And it was a race in which kids had to pick up 4 conical shaped objects, one inside the other, kept on the track to the finish line. The whistle blew and in a merriment kids picked up the first cone and the second but then one kid lost the grip and all his cones fell. And what did the other kid running by the side of this unfortunate kid do!! Right, he stopped and offered his help. The scene of two little ones cooperating, reminded me that that by nature God has made us selfless. In fact the survival and then the prosperity of the civilization can be attributed to few selfless souls.
Under the hangover of heavy words like goals and success and failures, somewhere each of us has confined our naturally selfless soul to an abyss. It is perhaps the time to rediscover and rejuvenate that soul and to find time to be selfless. It is the time to make that iota of a difference to the others’ life.
Live the Moment:
And then the race in which my daughter was participating took place. I, by this time was overwhelmed. My child had performed in a group dance before the race. Though the performance was over, she was still rehearsing her steps. She kept on dancing, even at the starting line, as her teachers in vain tried to stop her act. Her facial expressions were free of any negative energy. She was living the moment, dancing willfully, ignoring the occasion and the spectators and the teachers. There were other kids too who were living the moment in their own way. As the whistle blew all of them merrily made their way to the finish line. But the rewards of the life were bestowed on the few, long before the finish line, isn’t it?
Our insatiable desire to win has left very little scope to live the moment. The ghost of the past and the apprehension of the future has made our heart lifeless, if not dead. We all are waiting for that Sunday, without realising that everyday can be made a Sunday.
Trust your memory, more than the camera:
As my child was dancing with her group, I took out my camera to record her performance. During the entire performance, I kept on searching for that elusive angle and position to record her performance. My entire focus was zoomed on my daughter and her performance. And what a mistake it was. As the performance got over my wife told me that how the kids as a group were trying to bring organization in their random steps, she told me about one or two extraordinary performers and few adorably mischievous kids. Well, I missed it!! I trusted my camera more than the memory. My camera had handicapped me to an extent that I cannot learn the lesson which the kids would have conveyed through their performance.
Or, I have actually!! For the rest of the ceremony, I kept my camera aside; I trusted my eyes and memory. I lived the moment and I am re- living it again through this piece of writing and will re- live it every time I read it.