'I complained about not having shoes until I met a man with no feet’.
I feel blessed about the fact that I am able to write what I feel and be able to connect with whatever few people who go through my work. At the same time, Am I am ever so grateful that there are numerous platforms that allow children to discover their talents and work on them. The real question is, how often do we say that we are grateful?
By now, I am pretty sure that you all got the point behind this article. This is about how we need to be more grateful. If the title confused you, let me explain. The title says the 'most under-rated word', which is clearly gratitude. And when I say under-rated, I mean it is simply not used as much as it is supposed to be. Honestly speaking, I had so many ideas for this article that it was getting difficult for me to frame everything into simple yet catchy sentences.
Some people term this period as 'writer's block'. But I am no writer yet, so yeah. Anyways, getting back, for days I was just simply roaming around complaining about the fact that I was unable to write until I realized that this could be some sort of sign. A sign sent from above. In other words, it almost seemed like the entire world was asking me to stop complaining and start being a little more grateful, which was exactly my topic. .I thought to myself, at least I have all the provisions required for being able to write, which made me feel like the luckiest person on this planet.
After that, having a clear mind, I did the easiest thing that I could- write, about not being able to write. And that is exactly what brought my article till here. You see, right now, I just told you all the easiest real-life example that I could offer which proved that gratitude is definitely the best attitude. When we stop complaining, we have a clear mind. When we start feeling grateful, we have a blessed mind. And then we are free to analyse the problem, think of a solution, and solve!
Gratitude makes things much more rewarding not only for the people who express it, but also for the people who receive it. You never know how much some kind words, a small hug, or even a warm smile can mean to the person receiving it. You never know, probably your gratitude is the only reason why people are continuing to do what they love doing. This point can be better explained with the help of a story. This story is about my current obsession and a most favourite author of all times, Sudha Murthy. She is also the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation.
In one of her best-selling books, 'The Old Man And His God', there is a story titled 'Helping Hand' which touched my heart so much so that I felt it was necessary to include this story here. Sudha Murthy is basically a philanthropist. Without knowing the meaning of the word philanthropist, I will not be able to continue with the story. The word philanthropist refers to a person who generously helps everyone in need and promotes other's welfare by donating money or anything else for that matter.
Being a philanthropist, naturally, when the December 2004 tsunami struck the coasts of our country, she went out to help. Now being a philanthropist is no joke. In this field you have to help everyone with full heart and not expect anything in return. Sudha Murthy had a rough time trying to help people. Firstly, she did not have storage space to keep the things required for volunteering. But it seems like god always has a way out for genuine people in need.
Sudha Murthy, being a teacher, had a student named George Joseph, who offered her the basement of the bungalow in which he lived. But loading from a basement was hard, and there came a new problem. But George seemed like the sort of person who had a solution for everything. He told her about the adjacent plot that was free. Though the original owner of the plot was out-of-town, George felt that asking the assistant would be more than enough. Who would say no to such work, he thought. But for the first time, he was wrong. Though the assistant agreed to giving the plot, by the time the owner returned, he refused.
He wanted to show off his power, and so he refused to move from his stance, despite a lot of pleading from Sudha Murthy and her team, who were only trying to help out those in need. The owner even acted so rudely with them, that all the enthusiasm brought up till then shattered within a matter of few moments. The team acted out another plan B which succeeded, but they were still unhappy. One of the main volunteers, Kumar, feeling certainly dejected, opened up to Sudha Murthy about how he felt and even asked her why they should continue working when all they got in return was harsh words.
At that moment, the security guard from the previous day's plot came in and handed a cheque worth Rs.160 and told Sudha Murthy 'I am only a poor employee and so I could not stand up to what sir did yesterday. But what he did was certainly wrong. I have only given you my one day's salary as I am poor but I feel very grateful about the fact that there are many people like you in this world trying to help out those in need'. Saying so, he walked away. Sudha Murthy told Kumar, 'you asked me why we should continue working. It is for people like these, who keep our hopes high by expressing their gratitude'.
I could have conveyed the same message to you all with a shorter story. But the impact would not have been the same.
I personally feel this was the best way to convey my message to you all. Expressing your gratitude could be the simplest yet most beautiful thing, which could change lives in the best way possible. It could give others the motivation to keep going, is that not amazing? Add flavour to life, not only yours but also others by making the word gratitude no longer under-rated. Use it so much that you would lose count of it. And trust me, you won't regret it. Because a warm smile, especially a one that expresses gratitude, never hurts. All it could do is make life much more amazing for everyone.