In past four decades I grew within myself with the belief that I am getting better at my communication skills. I did struggle at different phases and pockets but if I call those as exceptions I was moving in the northward direction with my ability to connect to a crowd.
Language became a challenge at times but overcoming that was not difficult. It just required the eagerness to share something interesting with the public and carefully listen to theirs through words or body language.
Last Friday, my myth of growth in the ability to communicate crashed. I was told to speak about life to school kids during their morning assembly. I thought it would be easy the only care I must take to ensure I do not say something which they cannot understand.
I thought of five petals of success in life which I have been curating for past few months through some stories which kids will enjoy. With that thought I went to the school and started. I was aware these special kids are deaf and dumb but was also aware that there will be teachers to explain the stories to them.
Kids were curious and eagerly waiting to hear and I started my first sentence with lots of enthusiasm and kids were eager too. Teacher explained the first sentence to the kids through the sign language. Few kids understood and few others wanted to reconfirm and few could not get it. It look few seconds for the teacher to explain the first sentence. I went ahead with the second sentence and the same process continued. At times teachers were discussing among themselves about how to explain. In few minutes I realised that I am not able to communicate at all despite all the support available. Hence I cut short my speech and let the games begin.
Life lessons that I wanted to communicate but never could
- Tell your mind what to do not what not to do:
Our mind is a good follower but bad at differentiating between ›Negative‹ and ›positive‹. It just understands the situation, person or thing but does not understand where we said good or bad, do’s or don’t , avoid or accept. It just focuses on it intensely. Like if I ask you to not think of an elephant with two trunks and of pink colour, you mind with definitely think of it. If I ask you don’t look back the urge to loopback would increase. If ask you not to smile, you will find it difficult to smile. Hence tell your mind what you want rather than what you don’t want.
- Enjoy what you have:
When you watch few kids play you will observe it’s not the quality of the game or its equipments decide what kids would like to play. You may fond a kid enjoying with a punctured tyre or broken toy attracts other kids to play with him or her. Initially out of curiosity we get attracted towards what is new but over a period of time what matters is the level of engagement we show with what we have that its cost or quality.
- Do what you want now; right now:
We all have many good ideas, good initiatives, good thoughts but without execution it is meaningless. We may have right intentions but without action it is unreal or fake. What matters is the action and the result not the intention or thought. Of course no good action can be taken place without good intention or thought but without action thoughts are meaningless. Our mind tries to delay actions and every minute of planned delay adds more than that following Fibonacci series.
- Welcome every person, moment and thing that comes to you:
Keeping your mind open and accepting everything that comes our way with a positive mindset lets your mind grow and enrich beyond your imagination. People often say, I don’t like this person or these kind of people, food, dress, place, situation, etc. You will often find those people land up in exactly same of similar situations whether they have to deal with things or people that they do not like. This will result in dissatisfaction, unhappiness and stress. But if you remove the list of things that you dislike and just accept things as they come and beware that every situation is temporary, you will find your life more satisfying and enjoyable.
- Give is more fulfilling than getting:
Gifts make us happy when we receive. The unpacking of a gift adds more happiness than the gift itself. But it’s just momentary. We value things before we receive it and after we lose it. But if you give something to somebody worthy, you will find the happiness and satisfaction will be there for long.
Rather than giving them life lessons I learn life lessons from them that day through many interactions we had during the day.
- Excessiveness is vice:
We have much more than what we need. We all are born with silver-spoon. Having five sensory organs and limbs working itself is a privilege. On top of the having a loving family, friends, food, shelter etc are luxury. But because we have all these and many more we hardly value them and ignore the valuables things in our possession.
- Curiosity is the teacher:
You do not learn through any other external object or from any other human unless you have curiosity. If you want to now, you will know. A kid coming and observing by access card, making sense of what is written in it, understanding what it is used for and then teaching me how to tell my name using sign language is much more enriching learning than me telling them that its an access card.
- Human-touch is precious:
They did not need anything more than our presence. They touched us, hugged us, wanted us to solve their disputes between friends and asked thousands of questions they have about this world where they are slowly entering into. They enriched us with so much of love and affection that we would have stayed deprived from otherwise.
Life indeed is an university and we all enrolled to it. This is a place to learn and never attempt to teach.