We all live in a generation where we define people with the level of success they have or had. We always give examples of people who were at that peak high, something which we always kept dreaming about. We’re proud of failures only if that defines success. Have you ever heard of a story about anyone struggling or kept trying their entire life till their last breath? I’m sure you’re not, but definitely, you might have heard of failures in Steve Jobs (Apple King), Mark Zuckerberg (the face behind Facebook) or many such imperative lives, because they are or were mascots. Talking about their struggles always ignite your dead cells of motivation, inspiring you to keep moving with fire, with an attitude to never give up! Right? And with that approach, there comes a belief that failures are important to achieve something big. You must keep trying, there’s no second choice!
Well, I believe it’s easy to follow successful people, follow their path or their ideology of leading life ahead. I always wanted to share the story of a man who just inspired me and how! He’s definitely not that successful as per our social standards. Yes, we do have benchmarks of success which decides the amount of respect you would get in different phases of life! Deal with it, it’s a bullshit truth most of us live by…that is painful and we are used to it.
we do have benchmarks of success which decides the amount of respect you would get in different phases of life!
I met this man in Mumbai where possibly most of the strangers meet. You must have got it by now, the local train! From Parel to CST, even those 20 mins were hard to digest. Just got into the train pushing and crumbling with fellow passengers and with stress about work and how would I manage the day, which looked very difficult and was absolutely legal for me to complain about. Just a few seats away, I saw this old man almost pushing himself to stand straight, in his 70s carrying a heavy bag on his sides. I would never carry such a bag, even you would not. I was constantly staring at him and feeling sad for a moment, somehow he managed to set himself straight putting the bag down and slowly removed some stuff from it. It was a bag full of headphones, chargers, plug points, cables, wallets, combs and what not…. He picked each item of it and held them moving from one seat to another trying to sell them, none of the products was priced more than a hundred bucks and still, the co-commuters were demandingly negotiating. Well I kept on looking at him, my station arrived and I just couldn’t do anything.
Next morning, the same routine, I catch the train and see what? The same old man is selling the same stuff again. I figured it out, that this route might be his regular day work or possibly it’s like a shift – anyways the same selling process continued, he’s going seat to seat and convincing people to buy. That day, I bought a pair of headphones! Just like that. Got down at my stop and continued my walk to the office.
For the next couple of days couldn’t find him in the train, though I was late that day. I reached my destination and my eyes found this man again standing near the platform by the pillar and doing the same stuff, selling those cheap products. I was overwhelmed with his grit and desire. I decided to walk up to him and have a conversation. The silliest thing, I didn’t ask his name and even didn’t bother to get a picture clicked! Seems I was absolutely inspired by him to even get a thought of doing these basic things. And our conversation continued…
Me: Hi Sir
Old Man: Hi
Me: How old are you, sir?
Old Man: I think 70 (surely didn’t know his exact date of birth).
Me: Why are you doing this much work?
Old Man: what to do, there’s no one to look after my family.
Me: How long you been doing this?
Old Man: I was working as a watchman before. Now selling these since the last couple of years. I start in early morning 6 and reach home by evening 8 or 9 pm.
I was absolutely baffled. Was trying to know what it takes to put in so much countless efforts without even getting desired results and been struggling like this for years, at that age how would you make this happen? It’s easy to lose hope forever, but I’m sure this man didn’t…
He continued telling about how difficult it has been for him looking after his wife who’s under serious medication and two daughters who are working on daily wages. How he tries to save every single penny with a desire to get both the daughters married and settled, it’s a long-awaited dream. He’s been trying for almost three decades to change but nothing seems working.
Selling from the train to train, station to station he’s managing to earn around 300 odd bucks a day and cannot afford to even take a day off. He is on the job trying all 7 days a week.
Upon asking how does he feel about his life?
He says it’s fine, got used to it and still hopeful that things will change, if not for him at least for his daughters. He will definitely keep working till the time he is able to.
And that was it. I was surprised by his response and was glad to know that his happiness was not just defined by his emotions but also with the people around him. He was working not just for himself but for his family. He was not complaining. Giving up was not an option for him, he was continuously trying!!
The Old Man definitely taught me a lesson and inspired more than anyone can or may ever will. Don’t lose hope when you are not achieving something even after waiting and trying for long, just keep moving that’s actually called never giving up! Don’t be selfish, your happiness is important but not more than the people around you. Your family always comes first, always be there.
Your passion to live all stages of life, your support to people, your helping nature will define the person you are. You will definitely become an inspiration and God is with you. Just keep moving with that spirit! Be a DOER.
With DOER as a platform, we have a vision to ensure these kinds of people get support wherever or whichever way possible around the world. With an aim to achieve happy lives without being hit by poverty or any other reason. No hunger, no helplessness, more happiness, more education, more support, that’s our dream.
We need you! Let’s spread peace and support. Let’s be a DOER