Of all the memories we cherish, childhood memories are possibly the most special. Well, of course memories can be happy times or dreadful ones. As I sit back writing on the topic, I remember the movie Inside Out where Riley turns her experiences as memories and sends into long term memory. While I navigate through my long term memory hub, from my childhood, one of which comes is my school sports day, although I don’t remember the date.
Students and teachers at my school had been preparing for the Sports Day for the last few weeks. Although sports day might seem a fun to many, the day was both a fun and a difficult day for me. It was because my father was a sports person and he thought I would be an Olympic athlete. Kidding… On the other hand, my mother was finding it a distraction from studies because I couldn’t complete my homework and was getting tired. Leave them aside, and I was the happiest of all, as our classes were cancelled for practice and homeworks were not checked.
That year I had participated in every type of sports, except high jump which I never liked. I remember I participated in Javelin throw, Shot-put Throw, Discus Throw, Long Jump, Running Race and Needle & Thread Race. My school and house was in the same campus. So I used to practice after school with my father. It was that year in school when I became the sports champion. I had got many prizes and books. My grandfather, parents and teachers had been encouraging me and I felt a sense of pride winning the Champion Cup. All the days of practice and listening to my father’s scolding during practice were worth it.
I loved showing off my sporty skills and seeing my teachers and parents cheering for me standing at the side lines. They have been my support system and I miss every ‘good’ days of my school.
During my internship, many years ago, I visited the visually impaired school of Ramakrishna Mission in Kolkata. Although I don’t remember many details, one small incident taught me a new meaning of the word “beauty”. As I interacted with the students, there was a young girl, visually impaired, who just wanted to sit with me all the time. She held my hand, touched my face and said, “You are beautiful.”
That day I understood the meaning of BEAUTY through the little girl’s eyes. As Plato quotes, “Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder”; the eye here, is actually the eye of the soul. Beauty is not just a visual medium but can also be auditory, tactual and olfactory. It symbolizes a sense of morality and honesty. It is possible that the little girl equated her definition of “beauty” to someone treating her well, giving her time and space, and making her comfortable.
Similar situations arise in all of our lives. We all appreciate “beauty” but end up limiting our ability to perceive it. We meet different sets of people not knowing what they are going through, and we know how to react to each one of them. But often, we miss out finding the beauty within them and within us too.
You may ask, “Where is the beauty in pain?” But ironically, pain often brings beauty; for instance, a mother, out of pain, delivers a beautiful baby, out of a painful loss, there is an awareness of the beautiful person or time spent with him or her and the beautiful life, out of painful struggle emerges a beautiful poem. Hence, there is beauty in our interconnection as human beings.
Beauty is in our lives if we stop comparing with others, especially our outward appearance. People might pull you down on that matter, however, let us remember- we all are beautiful in God’s eyes who created us and said, “…Behold, it was very good…”