Holding On

There are times when some of us decide to make a difference in the world or the country we live in and when we decide to go on about it, all of a sudden, the task ahead seems impossible. Till a certain point we would be brimming with certainty and confidence, but at one point we will find to our dismay that what we wanted to do a little while back was impractical and useless. After all, we would argue with ourselves, everything in the world is as it should be. We would become all philosophical and feel that everything in world has a reason and that there is always something good even in those situations that we consider as bad. Often, we would think how useless it would be to try to change the world, because we'll feel that the world changes us more than we change it. We would also feel that it is better to mind one's own business and do one's duties properly, rather than try to create a change and end by producing disaster to both ourselves as well as to those around us. We would also wonder about how the world would change by itself if everyone of us did our duties perfectly. And our hearts would be forced to wonder how it could be possible for someone like us to make a difference in the world, where millions have failed.

If you have really felt any one of the above, then believe me, you are not alone. There have been plenty of times when I have just wanted to call it quits, for one reason or the other. There have been millions of times when I had wondered whether I had tread on the wrong path. But miraculously, I have always held on to my convictions, and I still hold on to them, and will hold on to them for days to come. Though I have failed in every one of my endeavors till now, I still hold on to my dreams, because they are the only things that make my life worth living. My convictions may not be stong, they may not be doubt-proof, they may not be clear, but I know that I will never let go of them, even in the dreariest of situations. Because I am what my dreams are. My convictions define me, they make me understand my life better, to learn and they give me a reason to live. I may not succeed, but I know that I will never give up, because when it comes to the battle of life, it doesn't matter how many times you go down. What really does matter is whether you get up everytime you fall. And everytime I get up, I have learnt something that would prevent me from falling down the same hole. Which puts me at an advantage.

The mental turmoils that we come across when we have chosen to do something worthwhile are powerful enough to blind us and make us think that what we had chosen wasn't so worthwhile after all. The storms that blow within us as well as outside, are strong enough to sweep us away from our anchorage to a world of meaninglessness and hopelessness, to make our dreams seem like forlorn quests. We would start to question our beliefs, which once seemed to be unquestionable. Creating a difference would be an almost impractical thought: How can we hope to make any difference in a world of so many people? To answer this question, I would like to share a little story I read once, a story about the true meaning of making a difference:

A girl was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As she walked along, she began to see a man in the distance. As she grew nearer, she noticed that the local native kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean. As the girl approached even closer, she noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had washed up on the beach, and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water. She was puzzled. She approached the man and said. "Good evening. I was wondering what you are doing."

"I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it's low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll die up here from lack of oxygen." "I understand," she replied, "but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can't possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don't you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?"

The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, "Made a difference to that one!"

There are some things in this universe which cannot be expressed satisfactorily through numbers, and the difference made by a person is one of them. The common argument that pops up in our mind during the wretched hours of hopelessness, is thus baseless. It is not the quantity that matters, but the quality. Holding on to our dreams and convictions, no matter how futile they may seem at times, can truly work miracles

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