Recession... Down turn.. Slow down.. Lay offs... I am sick and tired of hearing it.
Sure, its bad. I certainly wouldn't want to be out of work right now. But I also know that things could be MUCH worse.
After a tumultous day at work, mind ringing with these words and thoughts, tired as hell.. I headed home. There I was, in my company provided cab, worrying and working myself up into a fever. My cabmates were quieter than usual too (We generally talk away to glory, using the transit time to fool around and release stress before we get home). Bangalore traffic was bad and the heat wasn't helping.
We stopped at a traffic signal.
So lost was I in my tought, that I didnt notice the person standing outside my window, hand extended, palm upheld. My first reaction was to jump with a start! Then I laughed at my own reaction... the person standing outside the window did not. I stopped laughing too.
The person was a kid, not more than 7 or 8 years of age. He had the straightest face I had ever seen, on a kid OR a grown up. One hand was extended palm up towards the closed window. The other was held up parallel to his shoulder. It ended in a stub, just beyond the elbow. No forearm, no wrist, no palm. Just a stub, an extended hand and a straight face.
All I could do was roll down the window, pull a 10 rupee note out of my purse and hand it to him. He took, expressionless, and walked on.
I reached home, changed, went into the washroom... and cried my heart out. What the hell was I thinking??!!
All thoughts of the present economic condition took a walk off the map. I kept thinking of the kid outside the window. I knew that his injury was probably not accidental. We know that little kids are often kidnapped or even sold by their parents, then amputated in some way or the other (Cut off hands or feet, eyes burned into hollows, ghastly wounds made on their bodies on a regular basis). Their life was like this not of their own making, they had no choice in it. They earned not for themselves. They degraded themselves before complete strangers everyday and had no other future in sight. And their I was, worrying about recession and whether I would get a pay hike this year.
I know this is a cliched dialogue, count your blessings. But once in a while, I really think we should. We spend hours and days whining and cribbing and complaining and worrying. While that kid faces what he does everyday, with the straightest face in the world.
There is a lesson. Life is shit sometimes, a lot of time and sometimes all the time. If there is nothing you can do about it, then smile and just face it. Think about what you DO have instead of what you don't. Sure, your dreams just took a back seat and you won't be able to progress for a few years, but you still have a life that you have SOME control over. You control you happiness. You can choose to smile.
YOU don't have reason enough to be the straightest faced person in the world.
Think about it.