See, there I go again. Useless, meaningless ponderings that can only lead to depression. And believe me, I’ve been known to have bad moods just after reading newspaper. I know it’s stupid and silly to react like this but then that’s me.
One day, I was reading some article about human rights violation and somehow that lead me to Srebrenica genocide. I started reading details about how systematically children were beheaded and women raped. All the while, the UN just condemned the atrocities. I mean, really? Just condemnation? Never mind. Coming back to the point, I read the details for nearly 8 hours. I couldn’t sleep and couldn’t eat for days. Every time I tried to close my eyes, I could visualize how the women must have been raped. How the children must have been snatched from their mothers’ bosom.
I knew I needed to control my reactions but I wasn’t able to find the right way. I tried to talk to few friends and family members but all they could say was I was overreacting; things like this happen in this world and I should stop reading such things if I’m so negatively impacted. That’s it! And if I still tried to talk about it, I was being stubborn. So I left it there. Alas, what’s the use of talking when there’s no one to listen to?
For solace, I turned to reading. Again. And there, I came across a lifesaving story. It’s such a beautiful story that whenever I get depressed, I read it again and again. It goes like this:
One day I decided to quit...I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality...I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.
“God”, I said. “Can you give me one good reason not to quit?”
His answer surprised me. “Look around”, He said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo?”
“Yes”, I replied. “When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. In the second year the fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. The same in year four. Then in the fifth year, a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern, it was seemingly small and insignificant. But just six months later, the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.
“Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots? I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you.
“Don’t compare yourself to others.” He said. “The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful. Your time will come”, God said to me.
“You will rise high.”
“How high should I rise?” I asked.
“How high will the bamboo rise?” He asked in return.
“As high as it can?” I questioned. “Yes.”
He said, “Give me glory by rising as high as you can.”
I left the forest, realizing that God will never give up on me. And He will never give up on you.
I don’t know the source of the story but every time I read this, I’m moved to tears. It never fails to give me strength and hope for a better future. It’s rightly said, “Umeed pe duniya kaayam hai.”