The word ‘happiness’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”
The last few days I was feeling exhausted but I carried on my household duties because I have a house to run and many commitments to honour. In India we teach our daughters that the home revolves around them; women are the sun and our family are the planets.
All good daughters imbibe this in their everyday life and we believe that small discomforts like a headache or cold should not be allowed to slow us down. We continue with our chores ignoring our aches and ailments. I was ignoring my exhaustion and then I happen to talk to my friend who by chance narrated this story to me. Well this anecdote changed me as a person. Here is how it goes….
Sushma was known as one of the pillars of society in her neighbourhood and everyone looked up to her. She was usually there for everyone whatever the problem, offering wisdom, encouragement, support and love. This selfless and sensitive woman was like a rock of gold among grains of sand and her daughter Sumi always wanted to be like her mother, a woman who gave more to others than she ever asked in return.
At times Sumi would wonder what inspired her mother along her path of compassion. All of her life, people had taken so much love from her that she thought of her mom as a bottomless well of support from which everyone received a bucket full of devotion.
And then one day, to everyone’s shock and dismay, Sushma suffered a paralytic attack and she was bedridden for life. This once-strong and independent woman had to depend on others for even the basic needs of her life. She was surrounded by people she loved and everyone took good care of her but it hurt Sumi to see her mother in such a condition.
One day Sumi went to her Guruji and asked, “Why does my mom have to go through this? You ask everyone to be good and kind and my mom is kindest of them all. Why did this happen to her?. She prays, she helps others so why her?”
Guruji replied gently, “It’s all about balance in life - everything in this world depends on balance. If you break it, you have to pay for it. This is the law of nature.”
He continued to explain, “Your mom has been so selfless in giving that she forgot how to take. All of her life she always gave to others and took nothing in return. Her karma had to be balanced. You see you cannot keep on giving love and kindness; at times one should stop and accept it from others too.
“If you don’t allow yourself to receive, you break this law of nature and then a balancing effect comes into play. Now, your mom has to accept kindness, devotion and love from others because she is empty within. It is her turn to accept. Do you understand child? If you do, then give all your support and love to her to help balance her karma.”
I was shocked by this story. Is it true? Does this really happen? I am not sure if such a law of nature actually exists but it made me think; all our lives, we give so much to our family and don’t expect anything in return. Then we pass this trait on to our daughters.
Maybe it is about time we taught them about the real law of nature: give and take. If you love someone then be ready to accept love in return.