I was flipping through the newspaper the other day and saw an article with the title “Cheytha karyavum cheyyatha karyavum” ( roughly translated as “The work done and left undone”). The title was pretty catchy and I went on to read the article.
It was about a British man named Nicholas Winton who had helped smuggle about 669 Jewish children from Prague which was, in 1939, about to be attacked by the Nazis. Fortunately this operation was successful and the children reached Britain safely.
But the thing is, Winton was not satisfied. He thought about the other Jewish children whom he could not help escape. The thought of these children having to end their life in concentration camps made him grief-stricken. He tried his best to forget about the incident and move on with his life. Eventually he did and even his children remained ignorant about this story.
Almost 50 years later, in 1988, he was invited to a T.V. show ‘That’s life’ where, to his surprise, he found 600 of the 669 children he had saved from the Nazis. Standing amidst them Winton realized, for the first time, that he had indeed done a great deed. He realized then that those 669 children he saved had married, had children and grandchildren and that they accounted for over 6000 people alive. He was glad that the good deed he had done had passed on to the generations to come.
The article made me question the very instinct of human beings to not find happiness in what we did and fret about what we couldn’t do. Let’s be honest, we all have done this. We must focus on appreciating our talents and let go of the things we can’t do. I mean, you could be the best singer in the world and yet feel unworthy because you wish to be a writer and your writing is not up to the mark.
A fish can only swim; it cannot fly. If the fish measures its success based on its ability to fly, it is a failure. There is no doubt in that. Humans are no different. So let’s take an oath to not worry about the things that are not in our control and make the best of what we have and what we can do.