Things I learned from my mother

Depending on the kind of hand life deals us, we spend our lives fighting for survival, striving to make it big, trying to achieve something the world will remember us for etc. But if we just take a moment out of this mad race and reflect, maybe we will realize that this is not the only path available to us. There is a higher and apparently much easier option once we put our minds to it. Looking at my mother’s life, who lived an ordinary life in the most extraordinary manner, I have learnt that maybe all you need is the capacity to

1. Smile and laugh under all circumstances because no matter what problems lie before you, there are always more blessings than troubles. You just need to notice them once in a while.

2. Cry when you feel like without any inhibitions, especially before God. If He didn’t like people crying, he would not have created this emotion in the first place. Let it go when it becomes too much to bear, it’ll relax you and give you the strength to start afresh.

3. Provide a shoulder when someone else needs to cry. Some people just cannot make sense of things by themselves and they don’t need advice or lectures. All they require is an ear that is listening and a shoulder that doesn’t judge.

4. Always be there for others, whether it is an occasion for celebration or mourning or anything that is important to them. Don’t let your presence be a favor to them; be there as if it is their right. Let them trust you. That way, you are helping them even when you are away from them. Just the feeling that one can rely on someone makes problems less scary.

5. Never lose hope however big the troubles seem. Problems are never too big; it’s the person facing them who is sometimes too small.

6. Love everyone from the heart. Don’t just pretend. Love begets love and it makes life so much easier and fun.

7. Always be ready to listen. Take interest in the stuff being said just because it is important to the person who is talking.

8. Never complain. When someone treats you badly, treat him great in return. It may or may not make him realize his error but it will surely make you the greater person.

9. Be frank with God. He doesn’t mind crying or complaining or anything of the sort. Ask only Him for whatever you want. As for the rest of the world, don’t ask, just give.

10. Make sure that you are the source of good for everyone that comes to you. You will not succeed in pleasing everyone, but any enmity or displeasure would be because of misperceptions on the others’ part. You will sleep soundly at night and have no fears whatsoever.

Sounds easier said than done? Of course it is. But it does make more sense than to keep on trying to get richer and higher on the social food chain. And Amma made it look easy.

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