Girls play with dolls and boys…well they keep running around with their toy guns and fighter planes. I always wanted a baby sister and it seemed like that moment had come. My parents announced, “You’ll soon have someone to play with.” I was not keen to spoil the mystery if it would be a boy or a girl and so were my parents. I kept praying for a baby sister, my mom kept praying for a healthy kid.
Finally the day came and my prayers were answered. I had a baby sister, someone to play with. I was so overjoyed with this news and instantly had planned my life around her…playing with dolls, kitchen sets, shopping, wearing makeup and do all the girly stuff together. I thought commanding at times would also be fun.
Without any delay when I saw my father going to get my mom and little sis back from hospital, I requested him to take me along.
There she was, sleeping quietly in a crib beside my mom’s bed. I was so amazed to look at this tiny thing. She was just like my doll but seemed more lively and fragile than her. My mom looked very weak as if she had gone on a hunger strike. She took my dad’s arms and walked feebly towards the car. I on the other hand jumped inside the car. My sister was curled in my father’s other arm.
I asked my mom, “Can I hold her; can I take her in my arms.” She looked at me with love twinkling in her eyes. She might have been concerned a bit but I could tell that she was already happy to see me welcoming the younger one. I took her in my hands looked at her small face, eyes that were no less than strokes of two horizontal lines divided by a small little nose and her lips were a pink that I had never seen before. She yawned with her eyes closed. I looked at her small fingers closing in a fist and opening as quickly as forget me not leaves-opening and closing from one’s touch. I looked at her tiny feet that were smaller than my own palms. Oops! There came a speed breaker and we all jumped. I thought she would bounce like a ball but I had held her tight I could not let anything happen to my living doll. I got scared and gave her back to mom.
Oh! Look she is sitting. My god! Look at her she is walking, she is running, she has a tooth, she is speaking…say ma…ma, say da…da all her activities progressed in time.
Years jogged and the little one started to reach my waist. Oh! I tell you she was my tail. She kept following me everywhere like ‘Mary’s little lamb’ from the nursery rhyme. That was admirable. But then there were days waiting for me that would test my patience.
I reached home from school. After lunch we all took a small nap. Then in the evenings when my mom would be busy preparing dinner I would walk into the kitchen looking for something to eat. I knew the cookie’s container was kept in the first shelf (a place where I could easily reach) so I followed my feet and my hands would assist my desire to fill my stomach. “How could this happen,” the cookies are less. I had just eaten two or three yesterday, how could it be, would be my thoughts. I would run to mom with the box in my hands, ready to complain.
“Who finished the cookies? They were mine I had saved it for later.” My mom would look at me and say, “Well! You know you have a little sister now. You’ll have to share it with her.” Very defensively I would keep my point, “I know but can’t she be slow. I had left it for later… for me.” My mom would finally conclude the whole discussion by saying, “now go finish this and I’ll buy another packet.”
They did tell me that I’ll have a companion to play with and I was absolutely ok with it. What I was not ok with was sharing my cookies, chocolates, room, colour pencils. I saw all the attention had now shifted from me to her. I was a little jealous on receiving this ignoring treatment. With time passing by and us growing I had learnt to share my things with her.
I thought that I had the biggest heart as I was sharing things with my sister and I was happy about it. I thought that I had built this quality but I was yet to be tested for it.
I remember a summer vacation when I got back from playing; I would have been roughly around ten or eleven. I entered my room and guess…what did I see? My mom had taken all my clothes from the cupboard; all my frocks, skirts, t-shirts and tops were peppered on the bed. I knew this sight. I thought my mom was cleaning my cupboard. She gestured at me and said, “Look at this blue frock. Shall I give it away?” I looked at it and said quickly,” but that’s my favourite,” so she kept it aside. I could see her folding the clothes and piling it into two separate columns. It was not difficult to understand that the pile to my left was staying and the one towards the right would be leaving.
When all the clothes were sorted out I asked my mom, “Why are you giving away all my clothes.”
“Because, they don’t fit you anymore,” would be my mom’s reply.
“But can’t she wear it. All my friends have their younger brothers and sisters and they wear their clothes.”
“Yes, but she is too small to fit into your clothes.” I knew that I could not argue this because there was a vast difference between us.
My mom took my hand in hers and pulled me towards her. She asked me to sit on her lap. She started whispering into my ears. “You know you should share your things not only with your sister but others too. Don’t you want new clothes? (To which I would nod my head slightly). Then you should give it to others who are less fortunate than you are. They would be happy to wear your clothes. If you’ll give one you’ll probably get two, don’t you want that.”
Now who would not want to have new clothes? Getting tempted at this deal (one for two) I would quickly say, “Yes.”
Over the years I have learnt to share my things with others. There were days and times when I would not feel like giving away my favourite clothes. I waited for it to be torn and faded. She would understand my attachment and tell me that it was in the giving that you’ll spread happiness. She said that there was no point in giving torn and tattered clothes as they would not serve the real purpose for both- you, giving and the others, receiving. The act of sharing would be a total waste. I still remember her statement. “Give things that are still in usable state rather than torn or tattered. Because if you give something which is beyond repair you are not really helping the other person. And yes, not to mention that you would have failed to bring a smile or add a moment of happiness to their lives. “
Years later I read this book “the seven spiritual laws of success”. What I found was something that I had been practicing for so many years. It spoke about the laws of success and one of the laws discussed was “Law of giving and receiving.”
Yes, my mom had already taught me something which Deepak Chopra had mentioned in his book. It is always in the art of sharing that you’ll find satisfaction. Sharing means giving and giving means parting away with things. That can be hard at times but the process can be learnt. I think it is not only giving that matters but this act should have a loose end. By loose end I mean free from any expectations. Giving and receiving work together; when we give, we also receive (may be less or more that doesn’t matter). Giving could mean time, money, positive energy, love, care, clothes…and the list could go on. When we give we just become a part of this huge process. We start receiving more of whatever we give.I had learnt that it was in the act of giving that we receive more. It is in this act of sharing that we find satisfaction and happiness.