My Dad is my favorite teacher. Every time I go back to my hometown to visit my parents, I learn a thing or two from him. Here is a wonderful lesson I learned from him during my recent visit.
My Dad built his first house after he retired from his job.The locality was new and slightly outside of the city. There were very few houses around at that time. My Dad and a few others who had retired and had built their homes just like him got together and decided to make the neighborhood better for everyone. They met the city Collector and the Mayor to get street lights, tarred roads and got a land allocated for a small community garden. This land was just behind his house. I still recall him saying to me “this garden will be enjoyed by our grandchildren and their children more than me”.
My Dad and his group of friends invested their time, money and energy to do what they could for the garden. And over next few years, their efforts were visible. The neighborhood was getting better and better. Many families started building homes and it became an established locality. Every morning, my Dad felt a sense of joy to see the neighbors walking in the garden. He too would walk with his friends. The garden got swings and slides for the children. Many mothers would bring their toddlers to play and it is a joy for everyone. It soon became the place for the neighborhood to get together and socialize.
Last month during my visit, my Dad and I took a stroll in the garden. Spring was in full bloom. The trees were laden with green leaves and colorful flowers. I noticed that he would greet everyone who walked past us. They wished him too. He met an old friend and chatted with him for a minute. So I walked ahead and was enjoying myself. At one place in the garden, there were a few names written on the wall to recognize the donors and patrons of the garden. My Dad’s name was not there. I waited for him to finish his talk with his friend and he joined me back. I asked him “why is your name not here on this wall”. He smiled and said, “how does it matter?”. He saw the frustration in my face and understood what was going on my mind and continued “I know that I along with others have made this garden possible. You know that I have done a lot. My family knows how much I have given to this garden. That is more important to me. I don’t need a wall with my name to tell me about my accomplishments.My work has left a mark on many lives which you can see around you. Leaving a mark on a wall has never fascinated me. Moreover, people in this city love to spit on walls.”. He laughed.
His words were very deep and I let them sink slowly into my mind. I smiled at him. My Dad had taught me another important lesson.#mydaddystrongest #mydadmyhero!
Rakesh Godhwani calls himself a nobody. He teaches, writes, reads a story to his kids every night before they sleep, bicycles his way to work when he can, does yoga, earns a fraction of what he used to, but lives a million times better. Check his online course Present with Confidence and his latest book Public Speaking Kaleidoscope. Follow him @godhwani.