I still remember the time when my mom told me the story of a man who while rowing a boat came across two streams in a river. The first one was pitch dark. He couldn’t see a thing. The second one was flooded with bright sunshine and greenery. He also had known before that the darker route was the longer one while the brighter one was shorter. Also, the person he was going to meet had specifically advised him to go through the darker one. Still, he took the brighter route and went ahead.
Some time later, he found the stream narrowing and getting darker. He rowed on, thinking that there is not much distance left. But as he rowed further, he found weeds entangling his boat and guiding him towards the shore full of thorny bushes. His boat got stuck in the weeds and he himself in the bushes.
After he had gone, another man came across the same fork. He remembered the advice and went along the darker path. After a while, he found the stream getting wider and brighter. The sun shone brightly on his face and he happily enjoyed his journey to his destination.
Through this story, my mom taught me that in every walk of life, we come across two paths, two streams, two choices. The bad or harmful choices attract us, pull us towards themselves. The right ones seem repulsive. What helps us in making this decision is the advices we pick up along the way from people in our lives. But the final choice remains with us.
Another very important lesson my mom used to teach me was that no situation in life is permanent. If we ever come across a difficult one, we have to realize it’s not going to create challenges for us forever. Similarly, easy and happy situations also are temporary and we need to be prepared for the worst any day.
Whatever be the situation in life, whatever be the path we take, we always find people along the way. Some help us, some guide us, some accompany us while some try to discourage us and create hurdles in our way. If they are the first kind, we hold them to our hearts forever. If we face the second kind, we rise above their hurdles and thank them for giving us an opportunity to develop ourselves.
These three teachings my mom gave me during my disease struck childhood have shaped me into the person I am today. She instilled in me the spirit of perseverance, that help me live, not survive, the moments, both good and bad, to the fullest and be prepared for what’s next. She taught me how to make the right decisions, how to take help and help others when they need me, and how to show kindness and respect to all who come in my life.
She taught me never to forget the persons, both good and bad, because each one of them teach us something before they go away. Stay in touch with people who were close at any point of time in your life, because they deserve it. Make new friends, but never forget the old ones.
I don’t define myself by my family. I neither define myself by the place I was born, nor the religion I follow, nor the social status my father has or I have. I define myself by what life taught me, and by what my mom taught me. I define myself on the qualities she instilled in my throughout my life. I define myself by the people who became close to me, by the situations I came across and how I lived through them, by the mistakes I made and the triumphs I acquired. And all through this, my mom has always been there watching me, guiding me, encouraging me.