At times the struggle within is to decide where to start. I felt this as I wrote this. If you want to think out of the box, you need to ask different questions, says JACK CANFIELD, creator of the ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ series.
The first question to me was when I recently noticed the house that stood close to Christian College in Calicut being demolished. Did I feel pain? ‘Yes’ and a “no’ – yes, being that happened to be the home where I grew up as a child and where I had my wedding. Childhood memoirs keep rushing to you as you traverse the journey of life. “No”– being, I was instrumental in selling that property when our parents passed away and we siblings moved away to greener pastures. Around that house used to be a vegetable garden and a flower garden.
The second question came up to my mind as I was peeling the vegetable grown in Hassan in Karnataka, called as Indian Filed beans and locally known as avarekaalu in Kannanda. My niece (Suhani) and her husband brought this for us and my thoughts went back to Abdulla Abdul Bari from Baluchistan. To quote his words was “har ek dane ka ooper likha hai, khanewale ka nam” (each and every seed is written with the name of the person deserving it). The second question is about the relevance of it?
‘A simple equation to remember is E+R = O. Event + Responses = Outcomes. It is not events that determine the future, but responses to those events. We can change our attitudes, thoughts, our visual images and our behavior.’ – Jack says!
I recollect the story of “Naranath Brandhan” one of the old theorists who compared life to rolling up a stone up a mountain daily, which he allows to fall down as soon as it has reached the top of the mountain…nevertheless we should roll up the stone up the mountain again and again. This is the “absurdity”, as Camus and Sartre call it, of life. As we move on with cores of routines we conduct ourselves differently than what we would have otherwise enjoyed. We lose the charm of passing through the wonderful part of the journey called life. Once again I am reminded of a trip, that we undertook from Mumbai to a suburb on a road that was bad. The evening was nice at the peak of a mountain and as we unwound ourselves one of the picnickers’ mentioned about the bad road. To my surprise his wife mentioned that she never knew the road was bad, as she was enjoying the nature around while making the up-hill drive. It is our responses that provide us with outcomes that we chose to have.
Attachment is a feeling that we assign to relationships and events. My view of “Yes” for the demolishing of the house comes from that attachment, which as of now has an insignificant value perception. If we are able to witness as we pass through our lives it helps us to have a “No” to attachments that are materialistic. Look at the beehives that collect large quantum of honey, as one pass through Wayanad and Western Ghats. I wonder the innumerable wild flowers from where the bees would collect nectar as a team and stored in the hive for consumption. The effort is phenomenal, and the sum and substance of it all gives us the understanding that we do what we love to do, search for new flowers and move on to find new meanings to life. “hare k dane ….”.
The avarekaalu bean gave new perspectives to me. We need to understand that it’s not we who may reap the wealth of the efforts, but a share in some form becomes part of you. Otherwise why the beans that I peeled came from the remotest Hassan to Banagluru, gifted to us and made entry to Calicut and we enjoyed it all. Efforts and engagements with life is your choice, responses in dealing with the events is your choice, that’s what makes passionate statement of doing what you love to do. For some the journey ends there. And for some the journey begins here!
My friend Ramakanth quotes Biblical words “As you sow, so you reap”. One cannot expect oranges when you seed tomatoes. The difference is between ethics and values to get the quality in our lives. The value of zero is interesting here. The peculiarity is when you put a number behind it the value increases and if you put a number ahead of it – you can imagine how it is. Zero should not be construed as something like a dead end. It’s the gateway to peace and tranquility.
It’s a seed that sow the thoughts – positive and otherwise. Seeds are in different shapes and sizes, like thoughts, with each type having differing requirements for germination and thoughts to emerge. Small seeds need to be placed as delicately as possible on the soil, and planted together in groups, ensuring that some will grow into thriving plants. Larger seeds, are buried deeper and probably with fewer in a group. Some seeds prefer warm, dry environments, while others require environments that are cold and moist. Environment matters. There are seeds that will germinate in less than five days, while others will take up to five months—or even longer! Idea generation is the process of thought. Indulging in good thoughts bring about better outcomes. Right questions bring right answers.
I remember showcasing Darsh, our grandson the series of natural action that takes shape as a seed germinates. He is only 3 ½ half years old.
A seed is basically a copy of the plant it came from. Genetically, it has all the information and DNA needed to grow into a complete plant. The food store is large enough to allow the plant to grow its first leaves so that it can start producing its own food. Under right conditions, this perfect little “package” will grow and develop into a wonderful new plant, providing food, shelter or beauty for others.
For germination to be effective it needs light, water, soil, time and temperature. In spiritual terms apply like the panchaboothas. “The soil” our spiritual foundation—must contain the right “nutrients.” This is where we start using talents, build skills and acquire knowledge and like the parents to the child, mentor them. Yes, God does start things small, even in the plant kingdom. One seed multiplies into many as they grow – Lots to learn from avarekaalu the bean.