Good for good’s sake -Sashikala Imchen, B.A. I (Eng Hons.)

Jesus used parables, Aesop had fables and every religion or culture has at least one story that tries to convey a message. Many of us have likely read a Tinkle, an Archie, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and more.  Whether we realized it or not, we probably learned something from these stories. Read on as our English honours student, Sashikala shares a simple yet meaningful story about how our actions determine the outcome of good or evil. It reminds us that even the most minor actions and decisions can make a difference in the lives of people around us and even those whom we love.

Good for good’s sake

Let me start by narrating a story I read a long time ago.
Every morning a woman baked chapati, an Indian flatbread, for members of her family and an extra one for a hungry passerby. She would always place the extra chapati on the windowsill, for whoever needed it. She noticed a hunchback come by everyday and take the extra chapati. Instead of expressing gratitude, he would mutter the following words as he went on his way, “The evil you do remains with you. The good you do, comes back to you!”
This went on day after day. The woman felt very irritated. “Not a word of gratitude”, she said to herself, “Everyday this hunchback utters this jingle! What does he mean?”
Exasperated, one day she decided to do away with him.  “I shall get rid of this hunchback,” she said. She added poison to the chapati she prepared for him. As she was about to place it on the windowsill, her hands trembled. “What am I doing?” she thought. Immediately she threw the chapati, prepared another one and put it on the sill.
As usual, the hunchback came, picked up the chapati and muttered the same words, “The evil you do remains with you. The good you do comes back to you!” The hunchback proceeded on his way blissfully unaware of the war raging in the mind of the woman. Everyday, as the woman placed the chapati on the windowsill, she offered a prayer for her son who had gone to a distant place to seek his fortune. For many months, she had no news of him and she always prayed for his safe return.
That evening, there was a knock on the door. As she opened it, she was surprised to find her son standing in the doorway. He had grown thin and lean. His garments were tattered and torn. He was starved and weak. Looking at his mother he said, “Mom it’s a miracle I am here. While I was but a mile away, I was so famished that I collapsed. I would have died, but just then an old hunchback passed by. I begged him for a morsel of food and he was kind enough to give me a whole chapati.”
“When he gave it to me, he said, ‘This is what I eat everyday. Today I shall give it to you, for your need is greater than mine!’” As the mother heard those words, her face turned pale. She leaned against the door for support. She remembered the poisoned chapati that she made that morning. Had she not thrown it, it would have been eaten by her own son and he would have lost his life.
She finally realised the significance of the words, “The evil you do remains with you, the good you do comes back to you!”
Living in the 21st century, I don’t believe in the absurd idea of considering each and everyone as my own brother or sister. I feel that no youngster or elder or anyone of us has this mentality. But I do believe that everyone should be treated as humans.
In life’s journey, no one lives on an island. Everyone is dependent on one another in one way or the other. A few loving words and kind deeds would help someone be relieved of their pain. It sometimes helps to bring back someone’s lost smile and happiness. There is nothing superstitious about it. Blessings are needed for everyone to get ahead in life, no matter what, whether anybody agrees or disagrees with this fact.
Let us not just waste our life in mere things. We can sort out things together. We can be uncommon in this common world. Our first and primal duty as a human being is to understand and help one another, and to heal this world of its grief and burden. Why don’t we spare a little of what we have? Why not spend just a few moments with someone who needs to be loved? Why not bring back someone’s lost smile? Why not give some time to our older generations who are neglected frequently by the younger generation? Why don’t the youth join hands and contribute our part to heal our love starved land? It doesn’t matter whether we do it in a small or big way. It doesn’t matter if people don’t appreciate or praise us. We don’t have to be disappointed. No one can perform or play our roles better than us. The only thing that matters is whether we did it wholeheartedly and joyfully.
So, why not start today? Do good and never ever get tired of doing good, even if it’s not appreciated. Every little gesture of kindness sows the seeds of love in us. Little deeds of kindness shown or done never cost a single praise. But the satisfaction that the giver gets is beyond everything. It is invaluable and can never be measured in terms of money or any other valuable thing.
“Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. For feedback or comments please email:”

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