The Pulitzer Prize

A child when in early days in this world will always be fond of that person who spends most amount of time with him or her. Usually its the mother whom every child likes the most as its mothers they find the most when needed as a child. But in case of Ben it wasn’t the case. As soon as he was born his mom had to leave him with his grandparents and leave for work abroad. Ben was very fond of his grandparents and always loved them the most. As he grew older and older the love for his grandparents grew stronger, but without his knowledge he was developing hatred for his mother. He started disliking her and didn’t wanted to be with her as for him she had betrayed her and there was no place in his heart for her.

Time went on and years passed by and the Ben grew over his teens. Now he was in a position to show his anger in actions. Once during his vacation in college days, his mother came to visit him. He didn’t want to meet her but everyone compelled him to do so, as it was almost 5 years he hadn’t met her. Finally with the pressure from everyone he came home and met his mom. It was almost silence between them for about 15 minutes. But she being the mother could not stop to show her emotions and went near him and sat next to him. But the anger inside him could not accept it and immediately pushed her away and a loud thud sound came from the room. Hearing the sound the people outside came in and saw her bleeding and immediately took her to the hospital nearby. She was fine but that was the last Ben met his mother.

But fate had written something else for them and a few years later the boy became older and happened to visit a camp for youngsters. There the topic the speaker was speaking was Gratitude. During the talk the speaker showed the audience a photo, which had it written on it, “The Pulitzer Prize” winning photo of 1994.

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The speaker went on…

“This heart-wrenching photo was taken during the Sudan famine in 1994. It had won South African photojournalist Kelvin Carter the Pulitzer prize, a prestigious award in photography. Captured in the photo is a child crawling towards a UN food camp few kms away and a vulture waiting for the child to die, so that it can eat her. Whether the child survived is still not known to anyone, including the photographer who fled the place the minute the picture was taken. He later revealed to friends that he wished he had saved the child. Even though these journalists were warned not to touch the famine victims for the fear of contracting diseases. Carter himself felt afterwards that he could and should have done something more humanitarian. Three months after winning the Pulitzer prize, he committed suicide out of depression.

This episode in the youth camp had moved Ben rockbottom, somewhere inside him there was a guilt developing and he was starting to feel sorry for all that he had done to his mother. He started saying to himself, yes my mom was not with me but she was doing all the sacrifice for me. It is because of her sacrifice the he could complete his education and work in reputed organisation. He could not control himself and broke down. He wanted to meet his mother that movement and say sorry to her. He immediately rode back home to meet his mother. 

When he reached home seeing him everyone was very happy. They all hugged him and took him inside the house. He said sorry to them all and asked to see his mother. His dad came near him and took him to his mother room. In the room on the cot was she laying down being nursed by a home nurse. She was in her last stage of cancer and was spending her last days of her life in this world. Ben was shocked and shattered to see his mother lying on the cot like this, full bald and with heavy pain in her body. he could not control himself and started weeping on his fathers shoulders. His father consoled him saying, don’t cry son your mother will hear you and feel bad.

He went near his mom and sat next to her. His mother slowly opened her eyes with lot of pain and seeing him was very happy. She forgot all her pain and there was a new life in her eyes. She touched his hands asked him to come near her. Ben took his ears close to his mother and she said to him…

“Son I am sorry for doing this to you. I always wanted to say sorry to you. It was my mistake, I loved you so much but I was not able to express the same to you. It was always inside me. Now that I want to love you so much, give you everything you want, I can’t”

Ben could not control his tears and went outside the room and broke down on his dad’s shoulders.

His mother passed away the same day.

Someone rightly said…

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favourite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.

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The Class Of Wisdom

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It was a sunny afternoon and students of class five were sitting in their class, waiting for their ethics teacher to come for the next period. Teacher was a bit late and this gave the class few extra minutes to continue with their discussion on different topics. The class was slowly divided into different small groups and the chit chat grew louder and louder with every passing minutes.

Then from no where comes the teacher and sees the class in full chaos. She reaches her table and thumps the bench with her hand and within no time all were back to their benches. Now everyone was expecting the teacher to start the class by some solid scolding for the commotion they created. But to their surprise she started the class by asking them a question, “Whats the difference between knowledge and wisdom?”.

The class was in complete silence. All were turning their heads at each other to see if anyone knows the answer. Seeing their blank faces, teacher jumped in and said lets start with a story.

One day two women came to a King with a problem and asked the king for help in resolving their dispute.

The king seeing the intensity of their request asked them what’s the problem. One of them started saying your majesty, this woman and I live in the same house. Not long ago my baby was born at home, and three days later her baby was born. Nobody else was there with us.

One night while we were all asleep, she rolled over on her baby, and he died.  Then while I was still asleep, she got up and took my son out of my bed. She put him in her bed, then she put her dead baby next to me.

In the morning when I got up to feed my son, I saw that he was dead. But when I looked at him in the light, I knew he wasn’t my son.

“No!” the other woman shouted. “He was your son. My baby is alive!”

“The dead baby is yours,” the first woman yelled. “Mine is alive!”

They argued back and forth in front of King, until finally he said, “Both of you say this live baby is yours, right?. For this both nodded yes. Sensing the gravity of the problem, King orders a sword be brought.”

A sword was brought, and King commanded, “Cut the baby in half! That way each of you can have part of him.”

“Please don’t kill my son,” the baby’s mother screamed. “Your Majesty, I love him very much, but give him to her. Just don’t kill him.”

The other woman shouted, “Go ahead and cut him in half. Then neither of us will have the baby.”

Hearing both the women King said, “Don’t kill the baby.” Then he pointed to the first woman, “She is his real mother. Give the baby to her.”

And the second women was ordered to be put behind bars for killing her son.

Teacher paused for a second and asked the class again, now after listening to the story tell me “Whats the difference between knowledge and wisdom?”.

Rahul being the witty guy of the class immedeately stood up and replied, “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.”

Hearing this whole class burst into laughter. The mood of the class was elevated all of a sudden. Teacher complimented, “Rahul you got it right, but that was indeed funny”.

Teacher then turning to the class said, “Remember children, knowledge is very easy to acquire but wisdom does not come that easy. I know each of you now has this question in your mind, how then to get wisdom. The answer to that is simple. I  will share with you an equation…

Hard work + Commitment + Gods Grace = Wisdom

These three words are the only thing you have to work on and no one can stop wisdom to be on your side.

(The period bell starts ringing and teacher leaves the students for another class).

This time is not permanent, It will change very soon!!!

One day Akbar asked Birbal, “Find a word or sentence thinking of which will make us feel happy when we are sad and make us feel sad when we are actually in a very happy mood”.

Hearing this everyone in the courtroom got confused and started asking each other is there anything as such. But one man knew what was up for him and it was Birbal. He was calm and was listening to all the commotion around. After a brief discussion everyone turned their attention to Birbal slowly. Birbal recognising it was his turn said the below with a smile on his face.

This time is not permanent, It will change very soon.

Everyone was amazed at how deep it was. Truly as everyone felt in the courtroom, I too felt when I glanced at first to the above. Life is very short, but it definitely is beautiful. There will be ups and there definitely will be downs. But it all has come to pass one day. So enjoy your happy moments and do as also cherish the odds.

A Reply …

A Reply …

Last week was a long weekend here and people working in the Silicon Valley of India will know its real significance. Before many days planning starts as to what to do, where to go and so on during these days. The city suddenly will seem to be very quite on these days. Everyone possible will go out to some place and not stay at their homes.

My friend Amar also did the same and had gone to his native after 6 long years. His son had never been there and they were very excited. They went and came back and all seemed very happy and recharged.

Today while going home from office with Amar, we picked his son from school. He was all over the place in the car and was still cherishing the memories of the trip. Seeing his excitement I asked him, Son how was the trip and what are you missing the most?

He became silent all of a sudden and kept saying what do i miss to himself. Finally the reply came…

Bhaiya we have a dog, but they have four.

We have a pool, but they have river.

We buy food but they grow theirs.

We have lights, but they have stars.

We have walls to protect us, but they have friends.

We spend our free time in front of TV but they spend time with family.

We might have the world, but they have God.

I miss all these and wish I was still there.”

Hearing this both me and Amar were shocked. We were never in our wildest imagination expecting this to come. It was a complete silence. Then the boy said, “Bhaiya now I realize how poor we are”.

Someone rightly said…”For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”

Sometimes we forget its not the money that makes us rich, but simplicity, compassion, friendship & family.

A Styrofoam Cup

A former Under Secretary of Defense once was giving a speech at a large conference. He took his place on the stage and began talking, sharing his prepared remarks with the audience. In between he paused to take a sip of coffee from the Styrofoam cup he’d brought on stage with him. He took another sip, looked down at the cup and smiled at the audience sitting in front of him early hearing the message.

“You know,” he said, interrupting his own speech, “I spoke here last year. I actually presented at this same conference on this same stage. But last year, I was still an Under Secretary,” he said.

“I flew here in business class and when I landed, there was someone waiting for me at the airport to take me to my hotel. Upon arriving at my hotel,” he continued, “there was someone else waiting for me. They had already checked me into the hotel, so they handed me my key and escorted me up to my room. The next morning, when I came down, again there was someone waiting for me in the lobby to drive me to this same venue that we are in today. I was taken through a back entrance, shown to the greenroom and handed a cup of coffee in a beautiful ceramic cup.”

“But this year, as I stand here to speak to you, I am no longer the Under Secretary,” he continued. “I flew here coach class and when I arrived at the airport yesterday there was no one there to meet me. I took a taxi to the hotel, and when I got there, I checked myself in and went by myself to my room. This morning, I came down to the lobby and caught another taxi to come here. I came in the front door and found my way backstage. Once there, I asked one of the techs if there was any coffee. He pointed to a coffee machine on a table against the wall. So I walked over and poured myself a cup of coffee into this here Styrofoam cup,” he said as he raised the cup to show the audience.

“It occurs to me,” he continued, “the ceramic cup they gave me last year . . . it was never meant for me at all. It was meant for the position I held. I deserve a Styrofoam cup.

“This is the most important lesson I can impart to all of you,” he offered.

“All the perks, all the benefits and advantages you may get for the rank or position you hold, they aren’t meant for you. They are meant for the role you fill. And when you leave your role, which eventually you will, they will give the ceramic cup to the person who replaces you. Because you only ever deserved a Styrofoam cup.”

Source: Simon Sinek

A Casual Question

Once a noble aged surgeon went to his regular neighborhood mechanic to service his car. The mechanic took his time and made sure the vehicle is handed back without any defects to his esteemed customer.
When the doctor came back to take his car the mechanic casually asked a question, “Sir you and me, we both do the same kind of work. Checking all the valves, changing the worn-out parts, removing the blocks, etc. Then why is that you get all the good things, respect and money and I do not get any of the same”.
The doctor paused for a moment and with a smile on his face said, “Son all the things you said you do now, try to do it when the vehicle is running, you will get your answer”