Vijitha Sebastian Adappoor
We all know the five simple rules to be happy …Free your heart from hatred …Free your mind from worries …Live simply…Give more …Expect less. Those of us, who are mobile, feel the energy and vitality of life. Though this state won’t be permanent, we are fighting to remain in that state. Amidst all the sound and fury, we spend our time getting ready to work, perform the work and later rushing around doing things that we like and dislike. We are always connected to others… talking to them and thinking about myriad things, trying to outwit others while conversing with them and gain something every moment. We all get stirred up developing plans, coming up with strategies and fighting all the obstacles in life.
In the fagend of our life, our body needs help even to brush and floss, as the blood vessels, joints and the muscles of the heart weaken leading to arthritis, tremors and strokes. Our memory lobes paralyze and come to naught, a stage when we don’t remember anything. At that stage, we do not find it necessary to fight, argue and prove our point as it hardly matters. The world moves around us at its pace and we are oblivious to it.
A meaningful and fruitful life is not being rich, popular, highly educated or perfect. Instead, I think that it is about being real, humble, strong and able to share ourselves and touch the lives of others.
I lost my paternal uncle four weeks ago. The clock of his life struck ninety five. Though his children are all well placed, he adopted a simple lifestyle. Even without any high monetarily profitable educational qualification, he stuck to his values throughout his life. As we talk about his value system, we need to taper down to the very basic and simple ones of life. He abstained from meat and any other form of intoxication or addiction right from his younger days, which I think, earned him his long life.
Being an avid and unfailing church-goer, he probably garnered much wisdom from the divine revelations during the Holy Mass. Today, it’s so comforting to reload my thoughts with the visuals of ‘achayan’ and ‘ammachi’ (as we lovingly call them) walking together to church every morning. It was a sight to behold, indeed, as I wonder how many of us have this luxury which they enjoyed till the ripe old age of eighty three. I believe that is something missed by those crowned with much worldly knowledge and wisdom. His penchant to lovingly take care of all, who were with him, is found reflected in his children too. He never compromised on foregoing the evening prayers, the tradition handed down by his equally wonderful parents. A time came when their hearing capacities waned and they would follow lip movements to catch up with the others while praying.
Age took its toll and restricted his movements, halted his speech, and diminished his power of recognition. And the next generation felt a loss of identity and belongingness, the pride with which we held on to our family name dwindled. With many around to assist him, he was finishing the race alone, weak with no cares, worries or fears – an inexplicable solitude. Many questions remained unanswered for all of us – does he feel the pain, can he hear, is he aware of the night and the day?
Life is truly amazing, encompassing within itself a set time for silence and commotion, darkness and brilliance. The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart…in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.” We are fed up with a tedious job; we find people awkward or their behaviour embarrassing. In unpleasant moments, we too are at fault by unknowingly making the situation difficult for others. Even if our words are in total control, we do indulge in twiddling our thumbs, shuffling our feet, stifling our yawns, heaving long sighs and fretting inwardly.
Our sojourn, in the stipulated time on this earth, is a race against deteriorating life. If so, can we redirect our lives by making ourselves free from fear, sans harbouring any superiority complex, immune to criticism and tune ourselves to remain without ego? The generation before us woke up every day with purpose and passion in every simple aspect of life. Our efforts too should be aligned to their zeal and delight as we crown the dreams of our life with the spiritual fervour.