A drunkard father had two sons. He was a wife abuser and constantly beat his wife and his sons.
The sons grew up and moved away.
One son grew up to be a wife beater, frequent domestic violence and was hardly able to keep his jobs. He said, ‘That’s how my dad was, that’s all I have seen..and that’s all I know !! What else would you expect of the son of an abusive person like me’
The other son grew up to be a fine gentleman. He treated his wife and children with immense love and respect. He was in a respectable job and was a good citizen. He said ‘I know what it is like to be abused…and I’ll never let that happen to my wife or children.’
Same Family. Same circumstances. It was the narrative that made all the difference.
What is your story ?
I once met a farmer from Himachal Pradesh. He was in my group as part of an ambitious entrepreneurs journey called the Jagriti Yatra. We were introducing ourselves to the group. There were people from IIT’s, middle level managers in IT companies like myself, Doctors who had served in tribal area, UN worker from Jamaica etc. This humble farmer’s proudest moment was that he had completed his Post graduation. To me and to several others it sounded too simple and too obvious. After all, most of us knew we will graduate and complete post graduation in our lives.
Until we know his story. The nearest primary school was 5 Km’s from house. Even at the age of four years, he walked 5 Kms everyday to go to school. In Secondary he had to walk around 10 Kms across the hill to get to the next village to go to school every day. Higher secondary was even further away at 15 Km. College and post graduation at almost 25 Kms away in two buses everyday. He came home and helped his parents with their farms everyday and worked his way through school and college.
After listening to the story I admitted if I had to walk that further I would have probably never studied beyond Kindergarden. We don’t realise our privileges till we see someone who had been deprived of them. At that moment, I realised what a privilege it had been for me to have been born into a family and circumstances I could take so much for granted.
The privilege of legs is known only to the lame, the sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, family to an orphan.
We make our stories and then our stories make us. Choose Well.