In a world where success, happiness, perfect bodies, fame, money, popularity, smiling faces are all considered synonymous and mixed together in a pot-pourri, sometimes an ordinary human being might stand bemused- wondering at it all… When faced with the onslaught of seemingly unjustified hatred and virulent bias or enemity, one might get apprehensive about the futility of it all…
Pray, where is my place in this melee? Is it that I have no place at all?Do I have a right to breathe the air too, eh?
From the lives of the most inspiring people I have met in my life journey, I have observed certain hometruths that they live quietly by.These have helped me in tough times as well as in normal times, to find a breathing space of my own.
1. They are full of gratitude for whatever they have in life, including their life experiences.
In a recent example, when I looked at the radiant and compassionate face of someone who has literally been to hell and back, he smiled, ‘I am so grateful for that experience because of what I learned in that time!’ It made me feel foolish for the number of times in my life when I slipped into a complaining mode!
(Let me count my blessings…and by God! The list is so big!)
2. They focus on ‘ giving ‘ than taking. They are hard working, unassuming and grounded.
The Missionary Sister, whose face comes to my mind as I type, is always thinking of how to coach the poor school children better, how to get toilets constructed for the suffering patients, how to organise a small function for the orphans…I often tell her that she is my ‘ mood elevator medicine’, because her spirit of service is so infectious! I am yet to meet a more unassuming or hard working person than her. And I wonder, if she manages to sleep for four hours a day!
3. They enjoy living every day
From enjoying a good coffee, a movie, a book , theatre, or sports or dance or walking,,,, such people have a capacity for enjoying life’s simple pleasures without unnecessary show or ado. I do not find them boasting about their hobbies or activities, and instead take intrinsic happiness in their choices.
4. They are good, loving and kind
I find myself attracted to these qualities and have found these people to have spring wells of love and kindness which never dry up. Always, they are there to cheer you, to be proud of you, to egg you on, to tease you…Getting in touch with such souls make you heal and smile.
5. They do not compete with you or anyone else
These people compete with their own selves- to become better than they were yesterday! I find them self confident, not jealous of any one, and very pleasant to be around. They do not bitch or gossip about another’s life over their tea and do not snack on someone’s pains as an accompaniment to their drinks. I find them empathetic, humble and non judgemental.
6. They have a strong trust in a ‘ Higher Goodness’ whether they call it God or by any other name. Some do not call it any name.
They do not believe in any categorisation or differentiation between human beings and go by a compass of ‘ goodness’.
7. They bring out the best in others in their workplaces
The best bosses I have had, had the gift of bringing out the best in their team members. The best leaders that I have seen, were not quick to find fault but always ready to counsel and guide when needed. Above all, they practised what they preached.
They led from the front and never trained their authoritarian power guns on their team members to cow them down or degrade them. It is only when one encounters different leadership styles that one recognises the blessing of having had such mentorship early on, to set a benchmark by.
8. They never compromise on their dignity or self respect. They also actively try to avoid harming anyone to the extend they can.
They walk a fine balance between respecting themselves and others. But the most inspiring people I knew never tolerated abuse from anyone. They also never went out of their way to retaliate or harm anyone to showcase their stance.
9. They are genuine to the core
Some of the most inspiring people I know are ordinary people who are genuine to their core. They are not hypocritical and you do not have to watch your back with them. They will not tell you something and mean something else. They are refreshingly honest with themselves and others. I do not mean they are paragons of virtue, but they are simply themselves without being apologetic about it.
10. They believe that they are stronger than the circumstances that they face currently and are always hopeful about the next cross roads.
The ultimate humility! They know and believe that they have their own sacred space on this earth and no one has the right to take that away from them.
This I would say is a greatly life affirming belief and gives courage to handle many unfortunate events involving people and circumstances beyond our control. The ditto they follow is that ‘ This too shall pass’, and that the journey must go on…