Who Knows - What Might Make A Huge Difference?
Life – it might be just a four-letter word for many people, waking up in the morning, following their daily routine and going back to sleep. They just breathe because they were born, or maybe because that’s what they would have seen others doing. Many are just surviving, not living.
I believe life is not just about being born and breathing. It is so much more than just getting through each day ordinarily like everyone else. Today, when most of the people are running in a race for money, status, success and fame, very few of them decide to give up on this never-ending race. There is so much to look around at, so much feel and experience, enjoy and live in the moment. Very few people realize that there are so many little things around that we never care to notice and they might happen to make a huge difference.
20th August 2016, yes I remember the date. I accompanied my father to his shop that day. It was so boring to just sit there watching new faces enter the shop and my father trying his best to convince them to purchase a watch. One thing that I noticed was the desperate determination on his face reflected so strongly, that determination while trying to sell that one watch. It was not the first time I was at my father’s shop. I had accompanied him a lot of times before but that day was different. While thinking, I started recalling my past visits and noted a few things like how my father had missed his lunch a few times to attend the customers, worked for a few more hours than usual and also, that he worked even when he wasn’t well. With all these things streaming in my mind, I realized that how long had it been since he took us for out for a family outing and how long had it been since he last spent some good quality time with mum. I didn’t even remember when was the last time he attended any family gathering?
It was he had lost that cheerful vibe of his. He cracked fewer jokes, smiled even less, was more into handling business, spending very less or next 0 times with mum and most of all he had not had a proper conversation with me and my sister, not even about school in a long time. It felt like he was so indulged in earning money that he had forgotten the difference between surviving and living. All of this made me think – was money that important? When I asked him the same question, he patted my head and smiled at me but said nothing.
Later that evening, I was tired of just sitting ideal at the shop, so I asked my father if we could leave for home a bit early. He refused, saying that he can’t close the shop early and lose all the customers that might come. I agreed and just sat back in the corner, where I was sitting the whole day. Suddenly, my stomach grumbles and I remembered that there stood a “pani puri wala” (as we Indians call them), right outside the shop. I asked my father if I could go have some of them. When I went out, I saw that he was winding his stall up. It wasn’t even that late and he had a good amount of stock left too. There were other people too who were willing to eat pani puri, but he simply refused to serve. Some people even abused the man, shouted at him for denying to serve, despite so much stock still left, but the man simply said that he could not serve pani puri anymore.
I turned around to leave with an upset face and then I heard him telling one of the persons that he has to go home early. It was his marriage anniversary that day and his family was waiting for him. I also heard him saying that nothing is more important for him than his family and that his happiness is with them. His words struck me real hard. I looked at my father through the glass and he was still busy attending customers. It occurred to me then, if that pani puri wala, who probably earns less than my father and was obviously in much more need of money than us could shut his stall early just to go spend time with his family, then why couldn’t my father do the same? Yes, I agree that money is important in the present time for basic survival needs and also for maintaining social status, but how does it mean that a person must forget what is living life?
One thing that I have been sure about ever since is that I would never want to earn money keeping my happiness and peace at stake and also that even in the future if I won't be able to make a huge sum of money, it will be okay for me. I would live my life to the fullest and celebrate the emotions, time with family, noticing things around me, coz who knows - what might make a huge difference? How I explained the same to my father is a story for next time, but now it's time for you to give it a thought too.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.