As human beings, each one of us has a different perspective on life. Our experiences, our surroundings, our friends, our families etc. play a huge role in shaping our lives and our worldview. Consequently, one can say that what I find true might be perceived as false by someone else. What I consider a loss might become a gain for someone else somewhere. Life being the greatest of all teachers, always comes up with something new to teach us – just like my visit to Happiness Home.
During my recent visit to the North East, I learned a huge lesson about myself and how I had perceived things like a loss. But before getting there, let me tell you what brought about this transformation. I visited the ‘Happiness Home’ in Churachandpur district, Manipur. It is a small organisation that takes care of children who are HIV positive and offers them good food, education and shelter in a caring and inspiring environment.
Brother Ram, the gentleman who runs the Happiness Home, is a believer of Buddha’s philosophy that “the cause of all miseries in life is greed.” Many years ago, he lost his elder son to HIV AIDS. This huge loss transformed him completely, and he decided to dedicate his life to the betterment of children with HIV AIDS. Using his own money and donations received from different parts of the world, he takes care of these children who aim to make a mark in our world. I had the good fortune of interacting with many of these kids, and the positive energy that they radiate stays with you forever. While on my way back, I thought of how a huge loss in Brother Ram’s life had turned into the biggest gain for hundreds of young children.
Without him on their side, they would have led a life of despair, but his presence has given them hope. It has given them the strength to dream big and work towards their life goals. So a loss, in fact, turned into a gain depending on how you look at it. The same is in many ways true for me also. I lost my father at a very tender age. From there it was a huge struggle all along and it took me decades to reach a place where I could feel that I had secured a good future for my family. The loss of my father placed my life on a very different trajectory, where I had to struggle and build my life one day at a time.
Today, while I am working on many philanthropic projects and trying to bring real on-ground social change, one could say that my loss eventually became a gain for thousands of families across India. The brief encounter with those lovely children taught me that life is all about the perspective you have. It should always be about lending a positive perspective on everything.
We had visited the Happiness Home to help out with the construction of a room for Brother Ram and for also building a toilet block, thanks to Sunanda and BSN Hari. It was always going to be a challenging journey, but it also turned out to be an intellectually enriching one. I hope my words will help you change your perspective about things and help you see only the positive and brighter side of life.