Dare To Dream And Have The Courage To Follow It!!
A few weeks ago, I was officially inducted as the member of Kenmore Lions Club. They, rather I should now say we, have an interesting method of welcoming new members to the club. I was asked to walk out of the conference hall along with my sponsor member.(Sponsor member is one who introduced the new member to the club or probably convinced him to join) And then my sponsor member blindfolded my with a piece of cloth, held my hand and led me through to the front part of the conference hall where the chief guest for the day was waiting to induct me and another new inductee. Upon arriving there I was explained the purpose of this ritual. It was meant to be a simulation of what every blind person went through, their daily struggles with the darkness, experiencing the world the way they do; albeit, only for a very small fragment of time. This ritual was meant to serve as a reminder for us, who have signed up to take up the cause of spreading the light to all those in darkness (Lions club has internationally taken up eye care as one of their major causes), to strive to the best of our abilities for this noble cause that we support. And then, the blindfold was removed.
To be honest it felt amazing to be able to see again. And that is why I think the ritual really makes a strong point on the person to empathize the experience of those who had the misfortune to experience it every day and really make every attempt possible to prevent as many others as we can from going through it. If even less than 1% of all population on earth donated their eyes after their death, there would be no blind person on earth. Well if donating eyes sounds too intimidating, donate eye glasses or sponsor surgeries. Even that could help freeing a large number of people from the clutches of darkness. Every bit matters.
Coming back to the ritual, I found the ritual an interesting metaphor for many different things. For example, the harsh realities of life. Life throws up unexpected punches and blows on us, throwing us into darkness. I have been engulfed by the darkness of finding a job for quite some time now and there seems no end to it in sight (Getting a job might not exactly sound like a lot of trouble or effort to most you but it is for some people especially, on a foreign land) Darkness can be unsettling, unnerving and terrifying for those who were used to brightness. You can go berserk and run aghast in all directions in search for a ray of light only to bang head-on into the wall. You can stumble upon a rock or fall in a pothole only to sustain serious injuries while trying navigate through the seemingly endless darkness. You might shout for help, or you might even cry for help. But who wants to help a blind? I know there is light out there. I have seen it earlier. I have heard of it from others around me. There is a bright light on the other side they say. I said alright, let me stroll down to the other side. The only problem is I don’t yet know where that other side is
But what I do know is, darkness in all its horror, can teach you great lessons, if only you are actually open to learn them. Firstly, being a known territory helps. You are familiar with the walls, rocks and potholes and have a fair idea about where they are located. Looking for a job in foreign place doesn’t make your job search any easy. A foreign country, no matter how good or how developed it seems, you will be made to realize your alienness every second of your life in it.
Secondly, it really helps to have those caring and guiding hands to help get you back on your feet and in your senses when you fall or go berserk running around haplessly in circles. It helps to have somebody push you further when you don’t have the will to move any further or probably have made peace with darkness. And especially having that somebody who pushes you in the right direction can be a real morale booster. So it makes think about the way we lead our life. Running behind money, achievements and other materialistic things may seem like the order of the day, but I wonder if that is the right way to live a life. If that kind of life has any meaning to it? Is it possible that the way of life that most people seem to be living be the wrong one? Are majority of people wrong and minority right? Though personally I have an answer to that, I dont have a logical answer to it. I dont have an answer that I could explain or defend. But what I do know is, darkness has taught me that it is meaningful and not just helpful to make that connection, that human bond with other humans. It’s these connections, these bonds that you make in the light that will not only help you traverse the darkness but also provide the strength and support to do it.
Lastly, darkness has taught me how to survive not just in darkness but also in light. It is important to understand that darkness does not only imply pitch dark. It can imply bluriness, it can imply haze and many other things. Irrespective of the type of darkness, it is important to learn to survive on your own, in each of it. You may not always find that helping hand or supporting shoulder near you. Hence you must know how to get back on your feet when you fall, by yourself. When the going gets tough you must know how to cry your heart out and start moving again because staying stationary wont get you out of the darkness. This is where I understood the importance of self support in life. You need to get a stick that you can support yourself on, help you stand by yourself when you fall and to prevent you from colliding into the walls.
Where do I find this stick in the darkness you ask? The answer is you find it in the light, while you can still see. I found the answer in hobbies. There have been times during the job search when I thought I have had enough. I am done. I cant do it anymore. I lost all hope. At which point I turned to the guitar and said lets play a sad song on that note; letting all my emotions and negativity flow away with my music. The empty space created by letting go of negative emotions was now up for grabs for the positive ones. When the frustration would get to me and block my senses, I retorted to gym to vent out all the frustration. Imaginig the badminton birdie as the frustration that had blocked my mind, I would punch stroke after stroke, seeing the frustation break into pieces as the birdie broke or I ran miles to move miles ahead of frustration to get enough time before it caught me back again. I found books lifting me up with inspiration when the job search was bogging me down with its weight. Or sometimes I would just cook, because come on, who thinks negative around good food or with the tummy full. Sometimes we think we dont have enough time cultivate or pursue hobbies or we probably sometimes we are told that hobbies are for kids. Little do we understand the role of hobbies in our life and it’s importance.