One of my favorite stories from the life of Mahatma Gandhi is set on a train.It concerns a rail journey that young Gandhi was to undertake in India.It so happened that as Gandhiji climbed on the train,one of his shoes slipped off.As he bend to try and grab it,it fell down to the rail track,while the train gathered momentum.In a fraction of second,Gandhi ji reached for his second shoe and threw it towards the fast disappearing other shoe on the track.
A perplexed onlooker anxiously asked Gandhi ji why did he throw his second shoe. Gandhiji explained: ‘Oh well,if someone is to find one of my shoes,hopefully he will find the other shoe too, and thus have a fine new pair for himself’.
WHAT A MAN! What a wonderful instinctive quick response! Frankly speaking, if you or I were in the Mahatma’s shoe, how would we have literally reacted? Probably ,felt miserable for the rest of the journey, at the loss of a new shoe. We would have worried about how we would manage once we have reached our destination. That one lost shoe would have played on our mind all the way.
Unfortunately, we tend to focus on what we have lost. That other shoe! And we carry that burden of loss, adding to our woes. When instead we could so easily focus on what we have-and see if that could be of use to someone. Giving away that second shoe did not just make some poor Indian happy(remember,a shoe was quite a luxury for most of our countrymen in those pre-independence days), it made Gandhi happier too.
Perhaps it is time we all shifted focus. Instead of pushing to become go-getter-wanting more, more,-we ought to learn to become go-giver.Learning to give.Learning to share. Instead of spending our waking lives worrying about the shoe that is lost,perhaps we should thank God for the shoe we still have, and discover how giving it away could make us,and someone else, happier.
This ‘go-giving’ attitude has to become second nature. Instinctive almost. It would not have helped Gandhi ji to have realized half an hour into the train ride that the lone shoe was of no use. It worked because he thought of it right there,right then!
We, too often,find ourselves discussing in the comfort of our homes how we should have-could have-helped someone.Done our bit. When the moment passes,the opportunity sadly disappears too.So,we must become a go-giver.Not a go-getter.Help someone. Share what you have. And discover the joy of not having to worry about the shoe that is lost.
LEARN TO GIVE. LEARN TO SHARE WHAT YOU HAVE!!
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