Our son, Aravind, is an Assistant Professor in one of our University Colleges not far from our place. He completed his PhD in English Literature last August. He also teaches German at his college. Those classes are held in the evening from six to eight. He returns home in an autorickshaw. A few nights ago we were surprised to see the driver get out and stand near our son. Words of appreciation literally tumbled out of his mouth. After five minutes he shook hands with Aravind and left smiling broadly at us. We looked questioningly at our son and he started laughing. It seems after Aravind got into the vehicle at his college, the driver asked him hesitatingly, “Please do not feel bad if I ask a question. Can you tell me what problem you have.” Aravind has a vision problem called Retinitis Pigmentosa from birth. Aravind replied, “It is okay about your asking the question. Actually, I have no problem at all. It is just that I cannot see properly.” The driver was so impressed by the confidence and lack of self-pity that he asked Aravind about himself all the way back home.
Those people who have so much confidence in themselves are lucky. When we have confidence in ourselves others have confidence in us. For Aravind his vision ‘problem’ is not a ‘problem’ at all. He is used to not being able to see ‘normally’. He does not miss it because he never had it. He is doing what he wants to do. He has attended international conferences to present papers in USA and in London. He is enjoying his work. He has his own friends circle and the love and respect of those who come into contact with him. There are ups and downs in life and how we face those ‘downs’ depends on us. Of course, there are circumstances beyond our control and many a time we are helpless. We have to do our best and move on.
He says he does not understand why people feel that he is doing something special. Everyone is special in their own way. He is what he is and that is the way he has always been.
“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.” ― William James, The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy